White House Officials Brand Alt-Right Attacks on McMaster 'Dishonourable and Disgusting'

U.S. President Donald Trump and White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster board Air Force One, June 16, 2017. Carlos Barria/Reuters

White House officials say that the alt-right plans to increase its attacks on Donald Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in the wake of claims by blogger Mike Cernovich that the 55-year-old general is an alcoholic.

The alt-right is waging an ongoing campaign to unseat McMaster in retaliation for his purging of nationalists from the U.S. security council and targeting of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

In a video hosted on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' InfoWars YouTube channel early this month, Cernovich said: "He has a major alcohol problem. With every meal, two martinis, full bottle of wine—sometimes two bottles of wine—he really likes California red wine."

Sources familiar with the anti-McMaster campaign told Axios Monday that those who oppose McMaster intend to step up their campaign against him using accusations of alcoholism.

"McMaster has been made aware that the attack is likely coming, and prefers to focus on his work," a White House official said.

A source close to President Donald Trump's chief of staff John Kelly told Axios that he finds the attacks against McMaster dishonorable and disgusting.

"If you want to cozy up to McMaster, who knows what kind of services you can get out of him if you bring him some California red," Cernovich said in the video.

Cernovich is a leading figure in the so-called alt-right nationalist movement—a loose-knit group of racist white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and misogynists. The group gained attention over the weekend for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which participants shouted Nazi slogans. The march left one counter-protester dead and dozens injured on all sides.

Early this month Cernovich and other alt-right figures embarked on a campaign against McMaster after he took a leading role in firing three members of the National Security Council (NSC) who were ideologically allied with the alt-right.

Read more: Why is the alt-right attacking H.R. McMaster?

One, Rich Higgins, the NSC's former director for strategic planning, was let go after he wrote and circulated a memo stating Trump's agenda is being sabotaged by globalists and Islamists who are leading a "Maoist insurgency" that has led "Islamists [to] ally with cultural Marxists" in an effort to destroy America. The full memo was obtained by Foreign Policy.

The language and ideology expressed in the memo is similar to that used on the internet forum 4Chan, which is a breeding ground for alt-right ideas.

The alt-right now sees McMaster targeting White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the former executive chair of the far-right news outlet Breitbart, who said during the 2016 election campaign that the outlet serves as a platform for the alt-right.

Throughout early August Breitbart has run a series of stories attacking McMaster for firing the NSC officials.

After a counter-protester was killed Saturday after police said she was rammed by a car driven by a member of the alt-right in Charlottesville, Cernovich tweeted that "McMaster's media allies who he leaks to are trying to frame Bannon for #Charlottesville."

In an interview on Meet the Press Sunday McMaster would not say whether he could work with Bannon.

Trump defended McMaster when he began being attacked early this month. "General McMaster and I are working very well together," Trump said in a statement emailed to The New York Times. "He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country."