The Army rebuked President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, in 2015 for mishandling a sexual assault case, according to a Washington Post report.
Gen. H.R. McMaster violated Army regulations by allowing two lieutenants to attend the elite Army Ranger School, even though they were under investigation for the alleged crimes, according to the Washington Post.
According to the Army inspector general, McMaster needed to obtain a waiver from the deputy chief of staff in order to permit the two for Ranger School.
McMaster was unofficially reprimanded in the form of a “memorandum of concern” by Gen. Daniel Allyn, the Army’s vice chief of staff, in February 2015.
“I am disappointed with your actions,” wrote Allyn. “However, I expect you to reflect upon your actions, and to ensure that your future conduct conforms to the high standards expected of senior leaders in the United States Army,” he added.
The memorandum of concern is not an official punishment and is not included in McMaster’s personnel file.
McMaster declined to be interviewed by the Washington Post, however White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee issued the following response:
“Lt. Gen. McMaster has served alongside women, and benefited from their bravery and dedication, his entire career. As a commander he has been a leader in sexual assault prevention in each of his commands. To suggest otherwise is to unfairly impugn the character and integrity of a true American hero.”
The incident dates back to 2013 when McMaster was the commanding general of Fort Benning, Georgia, home to the Ranger School. Two second lieutenants, both players on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s rugby team, were accused of groping a female classmate on multiple occasions. Due to conflicting statements given to investigators verses testimony provided on the witness stand by the alleged victim, charges were dropped against the players.
McMaster, who also played rugby at West Point, said he was aware of the investigation but didn’t want to prematurely punish the two junior officers.