Senate panel backs Trump’s choice of national security adviser

© Reuters. Trump announces Lt. Gen. HR McMaster as his national security adviser at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve the re-election of Army Lt. Gen. HR McMaster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, despite some concern over his handling of a case of sexual assault.

The commission’s vote was 23-2, with two abstentions. The full breakdown of the vote was not immediately available, but a “no” came from Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Gillibrand, a leader in Congressional efforts to address sexual assault in the military, said he was concerned about McMaster’s earlier decision to allow two service members accused of battery to advance their careers while the case against him was open. , in violation of Army regulations.

“General McMaster was more concerned with obstructing the careers of these men than with following the rules in pursuit of justice,” he said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported last week that the Army investigated McMaster and reprimanded him in 2015 for a case in which two lieutenants were allowed to attend the Army’s elite Ranger School despite being under investigation for assault. The case against them was later dropped.

The Senate does not normally approve a president’s national security adviser. However, US law requires McMaster’s re-election to the new position be approved because he is an active duty military officer.

A Senate aide said Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democrat, was the other vote “no.” His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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