Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert resigned from the Trump administration on Tuesday.
Bossert’s departure comes one day after national security adviser John Bolton began his new job and two days after the resignation of Michael Anton, the National Security Council spokesman.
Bossert’s resignation was requested by Bolton, two people familiar with the situation, but who requested anonymity to discuss internal personnel issues, told The Washington Post.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on whether Bossert was forced out.
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“I’m not going to get into specific details about the ongoings of personnel. But I can tell you that he resigned,” she told reporters Tuesday. “The president feels he’s done a great job and wishes him the best as he moves forward.”
According to Reuters, Bossert ran the administration’s work on cyber security issues and was considered a key voice for responding more aggressively to destructive cyber attacks launched by hostile adversaries, including Russia, Iran and North Korea.
“He helped guide the administration’s decisions in recent months to blame and impose costs on each of those countries in an effort to create a more forceful cyber deterrence strategy,” the news service reported. “Bossert was generally well respected by cybersecurity experts, who viewed him as a knowledgeable voice.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen praised Bossert for providing “wise counsel” to Trump on a “range of current and emerging threats to our nation,” according to The Hill.
The timing of Bossert’s departure is somewhat stunning, especially in light of how visible he has been in the past few days.
He appeared Sunday on the ABC News show “This Week” to discuss the administration’s response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria and the president’s stance on sending National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border.
“We’ve got a leaking boat on our border. And we’re all quibbling with how much water’s in the boat and how fast we’re bailing it out,” Bossert said on the program. “I think at this point the president’s been pretty clear, enough is enough, fix the actual problem and stop that leak.”
Bossert was also a keynote speaker Sunday night at a conference of national security experts in Sea Island, Georgia, where he gave no indication of an imminent departure from his post.
“The only thing that creates instability or the perception of it is (a) the [media] coverage, and (b) the turnover, and I think at this point we’ve reached what seems to be a decent stability point,” Bossert said when asked what it is like to work in the White House. “I’m pretty comfortable with the president’s view of that, but it’s a little different.”
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNBC that Bossert’s departure “seems like a natural turnover with a new [National Security Council] director.” That same official claimed to be unaware of any points of difference between Bolton and Bossert.
Prior to working for the Trump administration, Bossert also served in the George W. Bush administration.
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