- Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser, will soon leave the Trump administration, multiple news outlets reported.
- Powell is one of the top national security officials in the White House.
- Her departure is the most significant exit since Steve Bannon left his position as the White House chief strategist in August.
One of the Trump administration’s top national security officials is leaving the White House, The Washington Post first reported Friday.
Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser who is second in command after the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, plans to leave the White House following President Donald Trump’s first year in office, four senior administration officials told The Post.
According to The Post, Powell is exiting on good terms with Trump and has discussed her departure with the president, including how she can continue advising the administration on its Middle East policy, in which she has been a leading figure, from outside the federal government.
Seeming to confirm Powell’s exit, McMaster said in a statement provided by the White House that Powell was “one of the most talented and effective leaders with whom I have ever served.”
“Dina has been an invaluable member of President Trump’s team,” McMaster said. “She organised and drove an effort to restore our nation’s strategic competence. Dina ensured that our integrated strategies protected the American people and promoted American prosperity. Her sage advice helped provide options to the president and her strong relationships across the US government and internationally helped drive execution of the president’s decisions.”
He added: “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.”
Since a tumultuous period over the summer that saw the departures of Reince Priebus as chief of staff, Sean Spicer as press secretary, Steve Bannon as chief strategist, and Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, the White House staff has remained mostly intact.
Powell’s impending departure marks the first major exit from the White House since August, and The Post reports that she could be the first in a series of high-profile officials to leave.
“Dina has done a great job for the administration and has been a valued member of the Israeli-Palestinian peace team,” the senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement. “She will continue to play a key role in our peace efforts and we will share more details on that in the future.”
Powell was previously a senior official under President George W. Bush and later worked as a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs.
An unnamed senior White House official told The Post that Trump’s relationship with Powell was “really trusting,” adding that his first year in office “would have been worse” without her.
“He talks to her all the time,” the official said. “He trusts her judgment. She’s been spot-on with her views on foreign leaders and how to handle them and talk to them. It comes with her years of experience.”
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