Mike Barnicle, of all people, set the tone for the opening segment of today’s Morning Joe, exclaiming “thank you, Jesus” in response to President Trump’s pick of H.R. McMaster to take over from Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser.

The segment was one belated Valentines Day bouquet of praise for McMaster, coming from members of the panel itself as well as in quotes from a bi-partisan array that included several critics of the president, John McCain notably among them.

Perhaps even more significant than the accolades for McMaster was the suggestion that his selection reflected well on President Trump himself.

Note: it should be said that the praise was tempered in the sense that it was made in the context of the panel and the others quoted largely expressing relief at the prospect of the Trump admin emerging from “chaos,” etc.


  • Mark Halperin: “ask people who think the president is good for nothing and horrible, bad judgment: these picks represent extraordinarly good, consensus, bi-partisan judgment.”
  • David Igantius: “it’s a terrific choice.”
  • Bill Kristol [from tweet]: “I say this honestly and non-snarkily: I can’t imagine anyone better prepared for the challenges of being Trump’s NSA than H.R. McMaster.”
  • Former US ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul [from tweet]: “HR is a giant upgrade. I have never felt better about Trump administration regarding national security.”
  • John McCain [from tweet]: “Lt. Gen. HR McMaster is outstanding choice for NSA. Man of genuine intellect, character and ability.”
  • Dem congressman Jim Himes [from tweet]: “Pleased by the choice of H.R. McMaster to be National Security Adviser. Brilliant stratetic mind. Not afraid to speak truth to anyone.”
  • Ignatius: “This has shown me again that Donald Trump wants to be a successful president.”