John Bolton is cleaning house at the National Security Council

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesNational security adviser John Bolton and President Donald Trump
  • Several top national security officials are resigning days after President Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton, arrived at the White House.
  • On Thursday, deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell became the fourth official to announce his departure.
  • Bolton, a controversial foreign-policy hawk, is reportedly assembling his own team of advisers and more departures are expected.

Several top national security officials have resigned just days after John Bolton took over as the president’s third national security adviser.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell became the fourth senior official to leave the administration this week, according to an Axios report, after Nadia Schadlow, another top adviser, resigned on Wednesday.

The National Security Council’s chief spokesperson Michael Anton resigned on Sunday after learning he would be fired, and on Tuesday, Bolton unexpectedly pushed out top homeland security adviser Tom Bossert.

While Bolton, a controversial foreign-policy hawk and former ambassador to the United Nations, is reportedly putting together a new team, the White House hasn’t yet announced any replacements for the outgoing officials.

Waddell, a Major General in the US Army Reserve, has run the daily operations of the National Security Council for the last 11 months and is planning to remain in the White House to help transition his replacement into the role. Waddell will reportedly receive a third star in the Army.

Schadlow was promoted to deputy national security adviser for strategy in January following the departure of Dina Powell, a former NSC official and Goldman Sachs executive, and was a key author of the president’s National Security Strategy document, which laid out Trump’s national security goals and approach.

She was a trusted confidante of former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and a respected member of the NSC who emphasised the importance of diplomacy and soft power in US interventions abroad.

A senior White House official told CNN that, after speaking with Bolton on Tuesday, Schadlow chose to resign “to allow him to build his own NSC leadership team.”

While the departure of McMaster’s top deputies was widely expected following his departure last month, it’s unclear how many more top officials will be forced out.

Bolton is reviewing the resumes of the NSC’s top staffers and there will likely be more turnover, CNN reported Wednesday. The NSC’s human resources department has reportedly asked high-level staffers to submit their resumes if they’re not already in the system.

“The administration thanks Dr. Schadlow for her service and leadership in crafting the President’s ‘America First’ national security strategy,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “The strategy has set a strong foundation going forward for protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing American influence. We wish Nadia and her family the best.”

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