Why is Donald Trump Jr. receiving national security documents?

How the president’s son is involved in controversial "deep state" memo that upended the National Security Council

Published August 11, 2017 10:58AM (EDT)

Donald Trump Jr.   (AP/Richard Drew)
Donald Trump Jr. (AP/Richard Drew)

Technically speaking, Donald Trump Jr. has no official government role, yet he apparently still receives sensitive White House documents -- sometimes even before his father does.

Foreign Policy reported on Thursday a memo that spurred a shakeup at the National Security Council (NSC) in July was first given to the president’s son by unknown White House staffers. According to sources familiar with the matter, Don Jr. then ran to daddy with the document.

The seven-page rant accusing the media, globalists, bankers, Islamists and the leaders of both Republican and Democratic leaders of working in tandem to subvert and isolate the president through “political warfare agendas that reflect cultural Marxist outcomes.”

Trump was reportedly thrilled at the content of the memo, written in May by NSC strategist Rich Higgins, and he later became “furious” when he learned from Fox News host Sean Hannity that Higgins had been fired by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. Higgins was let go on July 21, days after his memo was discovered during a routine audit of NSC communications.

“He is still furious,” a senior administration official told Foreign Policy.

It’s unclear how – and especially why – Don Jr. received the memo. He has no official role at the White House and is supposed to be focused, along with his brother Eric, on running their father’s business empire -- not trying to please his father with conspiratorial documents.

In April, McMaster banned chief strategist and former alt-right news editor Steve Bannon from attending NSC meetings after the president made the unprecedented move to allow one of his advisers to attend the top national security meetings. McMaster has continued to clean house since. In addition to Higgins, McMaster also fired other NSC staffers believed to be loyal to his predecessor, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after only 24 days on the job. Flynn, of course, initially failed to disclose meetings he had with Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

The memo, titled "POTUS & Political Warfare," underscores a deep rift in the White House between the nationalists like Bannon and so-called globalists like Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and close adviser.

“Complicating the current situation,” the memo reads, “many close to the president have pushed him off his message [made] when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process.”

By Angelo Young

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