The top U.S. diplomat for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, will leave his post at the end of the year, a current and a former U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.
Taylor, who questioned the White House’s decision to withhold an Oval Office meeting with the Ukrainian president and military aid for Kyiv, was a key witness in the congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Under the Vacancies Act, he could have remained as the acting ambassador until Jan. 8, a person familiar with Taylor’s plans told NBC News. Instead, Taylor will turn over the position to the current Deputy Chief of Mission to Ukraine, Kristina Kvien, on Jan. 1 and will leave the country on Jan. 2.
Wishing Taylor well. If there were more people like him with the courage to stand up to Trump and publicly testify to his misdeeds, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today – Trump would have been impeached within his first year in office.
The Defense Department’s senior adviser for international cooperation earlier this week left the Pentagon, marking the fifth top official in seven days to leave or announce their departure.
Amb. Tina Kaidanow, a long-time State Department official who began working in her Pentagon role in September 2018, resigned on Dec. 16, the Pentagon confirmed. Defense News first reported her departure.
Kaidanow’s resignation follows four other announced departures within a week.
Those include the December 12th notification that top Asia policy official Randall Schriver would leave after two years on the job; the December 13th announcement that top official in charge of personnel and readiness Jimmy Stewart had resigned after taking the role in October 2018; the Tuesday report that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency leader Steven Walker will leave in January; and the news earlier on Wednesday that Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Kari Bingen submitted her resignation on December 5th and will leave January 10th.
The Pentagon won’t say why she is leaving. The churn continues – weakening our institutions with each departure.
Mulvaney has not actually announced he’s departing so this is more of a “watch this space” post.
Mulvaney has always appeared to be a temporary appointee since Trump never deemed to remove the qualifier “acting” from his title – and he now has been sidelined to the point where he already seems halfway out the door. In paraphrasing this article, Maddow said “it’s like he’s at the kids’ table.”
This is just my own speculation, but I wonder if he’s being kept on as a way of holding him on a short leash during the impeachment trial, considering that he is a first hand witness.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is widely expected to leave his current position once the Senate wraps up its impeachment trial and the intense scrutiny of the West Wing settles down, according to five aides and confidants to President Donald Trump.
Trump allies and White House aides, who have been nudging the president in recent weeks to find a new leader for the team as it delves into a crucial reelection campaign, have been circulating lists of potential replacements for weeks.
Mulvaney no longer wields much control over White House staff. Lately, he has been left out of major personnel and policy decisions, and he is not driving the strategy on impeachment even though he occupies what is historically the most powerful job in the West Wing. …
The article suggests that the reason Rep. Mark Meadows recently announced he’s retiring from Congress may be so that he would be available to fill the role.
And can we assume she’s smart enough to understand she’ll also be leaving the White House if her father is not re-elected?
I wouldn’t give her too much credit.
U.S. Official Central to Hawkish Iran Policies Departs NSC
Richard Goldberg, the U.S. National Security Council official who clashed with other members of the administration over his push for a more hawkish stance toward Iran, is leaving the job after one year for personal reasons, a person familiar with the matter said.
Goldberg’s departure comes just as tensions with Iran have soared following a U.S. strike in Baghdad that killed Qassem Soleimani, a key Iranian general the administration said was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” against American diplomats and military personnel.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton created Goldberg’s job – director for countering Iran’s weapons of mass destruction – explicitly for him. The goal was to counter what Bolton saw as a desire at the departments of State and Treasury to weaken the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Defense secretary’s chief of staff to step down
Eric Chewning, chief of staff to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, is stepping down at the end of the month, the latest in a series of high-profile civilians to leave the Pentagon.
He’ll be replaced by Jen Stewart, the top Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee and a former top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, according to a statement from Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah.
Chewning was featured in a recently released trove of unredacted emails that show Pentagon officials’ concerns with the legality of White House moves this summer to hold up military assistance to Ukraine, an issue at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
In the emails reported by Just Security, Chewning in late August relayed to acting Pentagon comptroller Elaine McCusker questions from defense contractor L3Harris Technologies about the status of the Ukraine funding. McCusker criticized the Office of Management and Budget for saying the freeze wouldn’t prevent the aid from being fully spent.
Chewning later wrote that a memo to OMB, which warned that the Ukraine aid was in danger of not being fully spent by the end of the fiscal year, will have to wait until after a September meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Poland.
"We expect the issue to get resolved then," he wrote to McCusker. "If not, I think we need to send the letter."
His departure comes after a string of senior officials left the Pentagon last month or announced they were stepping down, including the director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, the principal deputy undersecretary for intelligence, and the assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs.
After the departure of 5 Pentagon officials in a 7 day span ending about two weeks before the Soleimani Assassination, this news feels very related.
US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass steps down
The American ambassador to Afghanistan is stepping down from his position on Monday after serving in the war-weary country’s capital since December 2017, according to an official at the U.S. Department of State.
The official said that John Bass’s departure was long-planned and part of the normal rotation cycle, with American ambassadors typically serving in Kabul for only two years.
The State Department has named Ross Wilson as chargé d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until a new ambassador is confirmed. Wilson is expected to arrive in Kabul soon, according to the official.
Time for a special edition…
Kids are being kidnapped for use as sex slaves… by a Trump adviser. George Nader was 1st charged in June 2019 with transporting & possessing pornographic images of children including some featuring toddler-age boys, baby goats & other farm animals.
A month later in July, prosecutors added a sex-trafficking charge, saying Nader had arranged the transport to his Washington home of a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic in February 2000.
Nader, a Mueller probe witness, stole the child’s passport after flying him through Dulles International. Once at his residence, he assaulted him nightly & silenced him by threatening him & his mother with imprisonment should they try to report him.
George Nader: Trump Associate, Mueller Investigation Witness, Liar, Sex Trafficker, Kidnapper, Rapist.
Trump Campaign Adviser Pleads Guilty to Child Porn, Sex Trafficking
National Security Council - new to admin and expert on Russia, Andrew Peek departed on Friday.
(Not quite back to posting…but almost )
It would seem that "left’ might not be an accurate description:
White House national security official on leave pending investigation
one rumor, two truths
I remembered talk of another honey-trapped official a bit ago.
Went looking, and I found it… and I wasn’t the only one to remember it: