U.S.

Trump Forming 'War Cabinet' to Fight Mueller, North Korea, Iran, Former Defense, CIA Official Says

President Donald Trump’s recent appointments to his legal team and administration were described as the formation of a “war cabinet” with the intent of not only taking on the special counsel’s office but also North Korea and Iran, according to a former top Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency official Friday morning.

Jeremy Bash, who respectively served as chief of staff at both agencies between 2009 and 2013, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Trump systematically tapped attorney Joe diGenova and former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton for national security adviser in recent days. DiGenova, Bash said, would take on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election meddling and collusion, while Bolton would take the fight to the two nations viewed as the country’s biggest threats abroad.

Bash also mentioned incoming director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, a replacement for Gary Cohn, as Trump’s sword for a potential trade war with China.

“I think the president is assembling a war cabinet,” Bash said. “To take a war to Bob Mueller, he’s got Joe diGenova. To take a trade war to China, he’s got Larry Kudlow.”

Bash continued: “And now to actually have a real war he’s got John Bolton, and the only question is will we find ourselves in a military conflict vis a vis North Korea, or Iran, or both, because John Bolton's rhetoric has been very clear."

Trump hired DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Monday to work beside the rest of his legal squad. A frequent guest on Fox News, DiGenova has said he believed a “group of FBI and DOJ people” created a “plot” to “frame” Trump if Democrat Hillary Clinton had lost the 2016 election, a claim the president has repeatedly made.

DiGenova’s entrance to the team was followed three days later by attorney John Dowd’s departure, which reportedly stemmed from Dowd’s belief that Trump was no longer taking his advice.

Bolton, a longtime, hawkish conservative, was named H.R. McMaster’s successor Thursday. He’s considered a major proponent of U.S. wars and has called for military action against both North Korea and Iran. Bolton previously served in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2005 to 2006. He is scheduled to officially take up his role April 9.

Trump has alluded to potential military conflicts or strikes with North Korea, heightening fears around the globe. However, the president agreed earlier this month to meet with North leader Kim Jong Un in an attempt to denuclearize the regime.

During his campaign, the president ran hard against the U.S.’s nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran, formed under President Barack Obama. He had threatened to cancel the deal but has yet to do so.

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