Former national security adviser said he and others told Trump he was denying Russian meddling in 2016 ‘when we know it’s incontrovertible’

HR McMaster was not trying to save the world from Donald Trump when he became his second national security adviser, the retired general said in his first interview to promote his new book – if his second since leaving the White House.

“It was my duty to help the president come to his own decisions,” McMaster told CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday night, setting himself apart from other White House aides and a string of senior military figures, including former defense secretary James Mattis, who have publicly criticised the president.

Related: US warns Afghan women of increased risk of extremist attack

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