Dina Powell, who has served the Trump administration as deputy national security adviser, has announced her intention to leave the White House. CBS News reports that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Powell will leave the White House “early next year.”
A pupil of Condoleezza Rice during the George W. Bush administration, Powell was perceived as one of the more establishment-minded figures in the Trump White House. After former national security adviser Michael Flynn left his post, Powell was brought on as one of the deputies for Trump’s second National Security Council chief, H.R. McMaster, replacing K.T. McFarland, a former Reagan administration official.
The move comes just two days after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. It’s unclear whether this decision weighed on the timing of her departure. For years, she attended the annual gala of the American Task Force of Palestine, an anti-Israel group started by Palestinian radical Rashid Khalidi.
Axios reports that her likely successor will be Nadia Schadlow, who is currently on the National Security Council staff and one of the individuals in charge of drafting the president’s National Security Strategy (NSS).
White House officials, such as President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Sarah Sanders, have indicated that Powell may have a future role in Middle East affairs, but they have yet to elaborate on those statements.
“Dina Powell has been a key, trusted advisor in this administration,” a press release from Sanders read. “She has always planned to serve one year before returning home to New York, where she will continue to support the President’s agenda and work on Middle East policy. She will serve in the administration until early next year.”
“Dina has been an invaluable member of President Trump’s team,” added H.R. McMaster. “She is one of the most talented and effective leaders with whom I have ever served. All of us look forward to continuing to work with her, as she continues to support this Administration’s efforts on Middle East peace and other issues.”
The news comes amid an expected wave of senior officials who will reportedly soon leave the Trump administration.
For the past couple of weeks, reports have surfaced that President Trump is strongly considering replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. That exchange could also potentially involve Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton stepping into Pompeo’s seat at the CIA.
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