President Donald Trump is building a "cabinet of loyalists" to prepare for greater legal jeopardy, MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann explained during a Friday appearance on MSNBC's Deadline: White House.
Heilemann was interviewed by host Nicolle Wallace about the disappearance of "Trump's Generals" from the White House.
"I want to ask you if this idea that 14 months in, the three generals -- he's earned so much credibility on the world stage, even among his 30 percent by associating with these three men, with Secretary [James] Mattis, with H.R. McMaster, and with Secretary [John] Kelly. if the three of them should say, we've done all we can do, what happens?" Wallace asked.
"Well, I think -- well, there are global repercussions and there are domestic repercussions," Heilemann explained. "Members of NATO, for instance, these three men were of enormous reassurance that they were there."
"They believed at heads of state around the world," he continued "that ultimately they would constrain the president and that basic establishment kind of consensus views about foreign policy, national security would hold sway because of those generals."
"Their absence will cause a lot of concern and a lot of questioning among our allies and probably a lot of joy among some of our adversaries," he predicted.
"And then the question will be who are they replaced with," Heilmann reminded. "If Donald Trump is building, as it seems increasingly, is a cabinet of loyalists, a war council as he heads into a period of greater jeopardy, of greater political threat, of legal threat and what he wants around him is only people who are willing to go to the barricades with him, that will not reassure our allies."
"I think that is what it looks like is going on right now, the gradual move towards, 'I want loyalist yes men around me, I am in charge and all I want around me are people who are going to defend me against the arrows of Bob Mueller and potentially House Democrats if they take control of the house," Heilemann suggest.