John Rood, Top Defense Official, Latest to Be Ousted After Impeachment Saga

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WASHINGTON — John C. Rood, the Defense Department’s best coverage formal, is the most recent member of President Trump’s national safety workforce concerned in the Ukraine issue to be ousted from the authorities.

Mr. Rood, the underneath secretary of protection for coverage, will step down at the finish of February, the department’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, claimed Wednesday. A department formal explained that Mr. Trump experienced instructed Protection Secretary Mark T. Esper that he wished Mr. Rood out in his resignation letter, Mr. Rood himself designed it crystal clear that he experienced been pushed out.

“It is my understanding from Secretary Esper that you requested my resignation,” Mr. Rood reported in the letter to the president, which was dated Wednesday. “Therefore, as you have requested, I am furnishing my resignation successful February 28, 2020.”

Mr. Trump, for his section, reported on Twitter, “I would like to thank John Rood for his company to our Nation, and wish him perfectly in his future endeavors!” As element of his tweet, the president shared an article from Bloomberg reporting that Mr. Rood would shortly be leaving.

Mr. Rood was aspect of the workforce at the Defense Division that informed Congress past calendar year that Ukraine experienced created the needed changes to justify sending the place $250 million in promised safety assistance. The certification was greatly seen as undermining a key argument that Mr. Trump’s defense staff designed for the duration of his impeachment fight: that Mr. Trump withheld the aid since he was worried about corruption in Ukraine.

The president was impeached by the Democratic-controlled Household but acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate. Given that his acquittal, Mr. Trump has moved swiftly to purge administration officials whose presentation of events did not align with his own.

In the times just after his acquittal, Mr. Trump fired two of the most notable witnesses in the Dwelling inquiry versus him, Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a embellished Iraq war veteran on the Countrywide Stability Council staff members.

A further Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, pushed again on Wednesday in opposition to speculation that Mr. Rood was pushed out of the governing administration due to the fact of his function in supporting the protection aid to Ukraine. “I have no info that would direct me to that conclusion,” Mr. Hoffman instructed reporters at the Pentagon.

Mr. Rood’s departure, noted earlier by CNN, was not entirely unforeseen. He and Mr. Esper ended up regarded to clash often early in their professions, and Mr. Esper was predicted to fire Mr. Rood soon after he became Protection Secretary past yr. But the dearth of respected countrywide security policy gurus prepared to do the job for Mr. Trump has made it tricky for administration officials to fill work opportunities.

In a statement, Mr. Esper claimed that Mr. Rood had “played a critical job on a wide selection of D.O.D. challenges, like modernizing our nuclear deterrence functionality, initiatives to consist of stress sharing by our NATO allies, our Missile Defense Review and utilizing the National Defense System.”

“I wish him all the very best in his foreseeable future endeavors,” he additional.

Mr. Rood clashed with Mr. Trump on troubles outside of Ukraine, including a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the president’s designation previous year of Iran’s Islamic Groundbreaking Guards Corps as a overseas terrorist group.

James H. Anderson, the acting deputy under secretary of protection for plan, will consider in excess of Mr. Rood’s duties until finally a substitution is appointed by the president, the department reported.

Mr. Rood’s departure accelerates the hollowing out of the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, mentioned Derek Chollet, a previous assistant secretary of protection. Other modern departures contain Eric Chewning, Mr. Esper’s chief of staff Randall G. Schriver, the assistant secretary of protection for Indo-Pacific stability and the Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer.

The departure of so a lot of civilians usually means that, ironically, the Pentagon is more and more in the palms of two entities: Mr. Esper, who has adhered carefully to the procedures of Mr. Trump, and the senior military management below Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Personnel.



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