(CNN) – A top member of President Donald Trump’s inner circle could be headed out of the White House.
Sources tell CNN the Pentagon is considering potential new jobs for national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster following months of tension with the president.
The Pentagon is quietly looking for a four-star general’s job to give to three-star Lt. Gen. McMaster.
So far, there is no public acknowledgement.
“General McMaster works for President Trump. Any decision with regards to staff, the White House will make those determinations,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.
The possible upgrade would give McMaster an exit as national security adviser amid continuing reports of tension with President Trump.
Those tensions were on full display when McMaster recently spoke about Russian election meddling.
“As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain,” McMaster said. “Now that this is in the arena of a law enforcement investigation, it’s going to be very apparent to everyone.”
McMaster’s comment resulted in a public rebuke from the president, who tweeted: “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only collusion was between Russia and crooked H, the DNC and the Dems.”
The White House is denying that the president was angry.
“He still has confidence in General McMaster,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary. “I spoke to him specifically about that answer. He said that he liked the general’s answer, but just thought that little addendum would be helpful to add.”
CNN previously reported that McMaster appeared to be undercut last summer by former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
A senior Republican source said Bannon had “poisoned the well” for McMaster with Trump.
Some officials said McMaster and Trump simply have never warmed up to each other, and that McMaster’s style of briefing is too detailed for the president.
Still, McMaster could have a tough time back in uniform full time.
“He’s got to make it clear if he goes back in uniform that he’s going back in uniform – that he’s going to be apolitical, that he’s going to be nonpartisan,” said retired Rear Admiral John Kirby.
A Defense Department official said McMaster is aware of the political sensitivities involved in a possible transition.
Officials told CNN the White House wants to find McMaster a four-star job that will acknowledge his service.
McMaster would also have the option to retire from active duty if he chooses.
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