Washington: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a top intelligence director and a national security aide to the US President Donald Trump, has become the latest person to be fired amid an ongoing shake-up at the White House.
A White House statement yesterday said, “General McMaster appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC’s Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen’s leadership. He has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward.”
Trump’s national security adviser H. R. McMaster moved to replace Cohen-Watnick when concerns were raised in March, but Cohen-Watnick appealed to Trump’s top advisers, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, who got Trump to intervene to save his job.
“General McMaster is confident that Ezra will make many further significant contributions to national security in another position in the administration,” a White House official said, without giving any further details as to what the new assignment of Cohen-Watnick is would be.
Cohen-Watnick was part of the Trump transition team and he joined the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House along with Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn, who left the administration in the first few weeks.
According to CNN, Cohen-Watnick, along with White House national security lawyer Michael Ellis, are believed to be the two individuals involved in assisting GOP congressman Devin Nunes in gathering the intelligence materials.
Nunes is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The White House did not give any reason for Cohen-Watnick being fired.