Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State, has resigned in protest of President Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
His resignation, confirmed by a State Department official familiar with the matter, comes on the heels of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s announced departure this week because of differences with the White House over foreign policy, immediately following Trump’s decision. Mattis said he would stay on until February to ensure an smooth transition.
McGurk’s departure is effective December 31, an earlier exit than his intended departure in mid-February, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter. McGurk submitted his resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, the official said.
President Trump, who aides said has been frustrated by news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s scathing resignation letter, abruptly announced Sunday that he was removing Mattis two months before his planned departure and installing Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary.
Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who has been Mattis’s deputy at the Pentagon, will assume the top job on an acting capacity beginning Jan. 1, Trump said.
Kevin Sweeney has resigned as Pentagon chief of staff after serving the defense secretary for two years.
“I’ve decided the time is right to return to the private sector. It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense,” Sweeney said in a short statement posted on the Department of Defense website late Saturday night.
A knowledgeable source told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the White House forced Sweeney out. The source did not provide further information about the reason.
Moved to Day 718
Rod Rosenstein will be leaving in the next few weeks. We had been hearing that he was actively overseeing Mueller’s investigation, which was more reassuring. Acting AG Matthew Whitaker is now been overseeing this.
And coincidentally, Whitaker has been trying to delay his Congressional questioning…*
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and oversaw his Russia election-meddling investigation for more than a year, has told President Trump he’s stepping down in the coming weeks, multiple people tell ABC News. Rosenstein reportedly never planned to serve in the Trump Justice Department for more than two years, and there’s no indiction he’s being forced out.
Rosenstein and Trump have had an at-times contentious relationship — in November, Trump retweeted a photo of Rosenstein in prison, and Rosenstein was rumored to have suggested covertly recording Trump — and there was speculation he would depart after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out last fall. Trump elevated Matt Whitaker to acting attorney general in late November, and despite publicly questioning the Mueller investigation, Whitaker is now formally overseeing the probe until the Senate confirms his replacement; Trump has nominated fellow Mueller skeptic William Barr, and Rosenstein has reportedly told White House officials he is leaving about the time Barr is confirmed and takes office.
Rosenstein has worked in the Justice Department for decades, serving as a U.S. attorney from 2005 to 2017 and serving in various roles over the 15 years before that.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump shut down our government just to achieve this delay.
Kevin Sweeney was forced out, as he was too aligned w/ DOD Mattis who had just resigned.
Got him thanks!
Yes…I knew we had added him but it was previously reported that he resigned. He was fired.
Former White House Deputy press secretary Raj Shah is joining a Florida- and Washington-based lobbying firm to work on a bipartisan communications practice, the firm announced Monday.
Shah will join Ballard Partners to lead its nascent Media Group, which the firm officially announced Monday. The former White House spokesman will work with Jamie Rubin, former spokesman to Democratic Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who joined the firm last year.
Shah served in the Trump White House beginning in January 2017 as deputy assistant to the president, deputy communications director and deputy press secretary. During his White House tenure, he handled crisis communications for the White House and oversaw the administration’s efforts to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Yahoo News reported in September that Shah was planning to leave his post in the Trump White House after Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Before his stint in the White House, Shah conducted opposition research for the Republican National Committee.
Last fall, Patenaude expressed concern over the Trump administration’s intervention in disaster-recovery money that Congress had appropriated for Puerto Rico and states hit by hurricanes.
President Trump in late September grew incensed after hearing, erroneously, that Puerto Rico was using the emergency money to pay off its debt, according to two people with direct knowledge of Trump’s thinking.
Trump told then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and then-Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that he did not want a single dollar going to Puerto Rico, because he thought the island was misusing the money and taking advantage of the government, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal deliberations. Instead, he wanted more of the money to go to Texas and Florida, the person said.
“POTUS was not consolable about this,” the person said.
Patenaude told White House budget officials during an early December meeting in the Situation Room that the money had been appropriated by Congress and must be sent, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting. She assured them that HUD had proper oversight of the funds.
Trump Admin related departure.
A five-term Republican congressman who co-chaired Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign in Pennsylvania is resigning.
Tom Marino said in a statement Thursday that his last day will be Jan. 23 and that he’s taking a job in the private sector.
The 66-year-old Marino is a former county and federal prosecutor who co-chaired Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign in Pennsylvania.
He easily won re-election in November to his heavily Republican district in northern Pennsylvania.
Trump nominated Marino in 2017 to become the nation’s drug czar, but Marino withdrew his name after reports he played a key role in weakening federal power to stop companies from distributing opioids.
Marino’s survived multiple bouts of kidney cancer.
Gov. Tom Wolf must schedule a special election to fill the remainder of Marino’s term.
A voluntary resignation from A Wess Mitchell - Diplomat in charge of European Affairs in State Dept.
Top diplomat for European affairs resigns from State Department
A. Wess Mitchell, the top diplomat in charge of European affairs, will resign from the State Department next month, creating a key vacancy at a time when European leaders are questioning President Trump’s commitment to historic alliances.
Mitchell, 41, cited personal and professional reasons in a Jan. 4 letter of resignation he submitted to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. His last day as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs will be Feb. 15.
“As the administration completes its second year in office, I feel that I have completed what I set out to do in taking this position,” he wrote, citing the development of a Europe strategy and helping Pompeo transition into the job after Rex Tillerson was fired in March.