Trump and his West Wing allies privately 'trash' deputy national security adviser for wearing face masks inside the White House: report

Trump and his West Wing allies privately 'trash' deputy national security adviser for wearing face masks inside the White House: report
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with patients Tuesday, April 14, 2020, who have recovered from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the West Wing are angered that Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger insists on wearing a mask during a global, deadly pandemic, according to the Daily Beast.

Journalists Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng, in article published on August 17, report that “a select group of officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger for putting on a mask shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic,” Banco and Suebsaeng explain. “Months later, these senior officials still trash Pottinger behind closed doors for his decision to wear a mask at a time when their boss, President Donald Trump, and other senior administration officials chose to avoid wearing face coverings, according to three senior officials and one former official.”

One of those officials, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, told the Beast that Pottinger’s insistence on wearing face masks in the White House has “angered and confused a bunch of people…. (Some officials) warned him that this was something that could risk pissing off the president, but Matt did not care.”

Banco and Suebsaeng note that according to one of their sources, Trump has mocked Pottinger behind his back for wearing a mask.

But despite that mockery, the journalists stress, Pottinger is important to the Trump Administration because of the role he plays in the president’s current anti-China strategy. Although Trump praised China’s response to COVID-19 back in January, he is now blaming the government in Mainland China for the spread of the virus (which he often refers to as the “China virus”).

One of the Beast’s sources said of Pottinger, “If he’s pushed out, who else is going to be able to do that job? No one.”

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