An Army officer who served with H.R. McMaster says he's 'walking a very fine line around the truth'

National Security Adviser HR McMaster is in an “impossible situation,” a retired lieutenant colonel who went to West Point with McMaster said Wednesday on NPR about his new role in the Trump administration.

“[McMaster] is a man of extraordinary integrity and honour and he’s got a president who has clearly done damage to the United States and to our relationships with our allies around the globe by revealing this information,” said retired Army Lt. Colonel John Nagl, who worked alongside McMaster in Iraq. “He’s walking a very fine line around the truth, parsing his words very carefully when he makes statements defending what the president said.”

“I think he’s not answering the question that he is asked, and I think that he is doing so knowing … that he is not telling the whole truth, while being careful that he is not telling lies.”

On Tuesday, McMaster had to walk a very fine line around the truth in explaining why Trump revealed classified information to Russia last week.

“It’s wholly appropriate for the president to share what he thinks advances the security of the American people…what we don’t do is discuss what is and isn’t classified…the president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from. He wasnt briefed on the source or method of the information,” McMaster said to reporters.

Nagl said that he and many of his friends were “concerned that something like this was going to happen” when he took McMaster job.

Nagl said he thinks that the “fate of the earth” is in McMaster’s hands. “The administration is clearly in free fall, and McMaster is exactly the man the nation needs to have … to hold all the pieces together.”

Nagl also said that Trump is using McMaster’s credibility in order to buttress himself. “His friends and I believe that it’s worth HR giving up some of well-earned reputation for integrity.”

Listen to the full NPR interview here.

NOW WATCH: The USMC is interested in this hybrid of a speedboat and a submarine called the HyperSub

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.