A respected National Security Council analyst has had his security clearance revoked, and his allies are unanimously blaming a “deep state” campaign designed to sabotage the Trump national security agenda.
Last week, Adam Lovinger – a longtime Pentagon expert on loan to the NSC, who held a top secret clearance over the past decade without issue – had his clearance suspended effective immediately.
On Tuesday, Lovinger was informed by the Pentagon that his clearance was suspended. He was then abruptly marched out of the NSC offices. According to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Lovinger has been transferred to an Alexandria, Va., location to do clerical work for an indefinite amount of time. Without his clearance, he has been effectively frozen out of the ability to do meaningful national security work.
Bill Gertz, who broke the story of Lovinger’s dismissal, reports at the Washington Free Beacon that Lovinger had been a strategic affairs analyst at the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) for over a decade. He is an expert in net assessments, which are “highly classified reports that assess foreign threats and U.S. capabilities.” Lovinger is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and holds a J.D. from Georgetown. He is an expert on the Indian Ocean region, the Persian Gulf, and sub-Saharan Africa.”
When President Trump was elected to the White House, Lovinger expressed an interest in moving his portfolio temporarily to the National Security Council, so that he could help shape the incoming administration’s grand strategy. He moved over to the NSC during the transition, and was then tasked with crafting a more comprehensive national security strategy for the Trump administration.
Sources say that Lovinger’s relationship soured with his Pentagon supervisor, James H. Baker, after the latter became aware that his colleague was being interviewed for a position at the NSC. Following Lovinger’s transfer, Baker immediately led two investigations into his security clearance.
Allies of Lovinger describe Baker as someone who is vehemently opposed to the policies of the Trump administration. Baker was appointed by Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter in 2015 to lead ONA. He has since been held over by the current administration, for reasons unknown.
Another individual directly aware of the situation tells CR. “Because Lovinger’s clearance was being held by the Department of Defense, Baker got DOD to withhold his clearance off of phony information.”
Another source close to Lovinger said he was so alarmed by actions taken against his security clearance that he went to an attorney and filed a 38-page sworn affidavit to make a record of Baker’s campaign against him.
The Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment was created to assess and develop future strategies for the U.S. military. It was first led by Andrew Marshall, a legendary director who is nicknamed “Yoda” for his strategic brilliance. Lovinger, described as a “brainiac” by one of his colleagues, was a protege of Marshall.
Under Baker, the ONA has been criticized for failing to produce assessments fundamental to the office’s founding mission.
Lovinger is the second National Security Council staffer to have his clearance revoked under questionable circumstances.
In February, NSC African specialist Robin Townley had his clearance pulled by the CIA, according to reports. Angelo Codevilla, a renowned international affairs expert, alleged that the agency axed Townley’s clearance because he did not approve of the CIA’s current trajectory.
The Department of Defense did not respond to a request for comment. Adam Lovinger did not respond to a request for comment.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
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