Ousted NSC staffer Cohen-Watnick joining DOJ as Sessions adviser

Ousted NSC staffer Cohen-Watnick joining DOJ as Sessions adviser
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A senior intelligence official who previously served on the National Security Council (NSC) has rejoined the Trump administration as an adviser in the Department of Justice. 

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who left the NSC in August, had joined the department. He will reportedly serve as an adviser to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions defends Trump’s power to pardon without consulting Justice Dept GOP senator: 'We were there' on immigration before talks got derailed Sessions defends census citizenship question as 'common sense' MORE on counterintelligence and counterterrorism.

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Cohen-Watnick was brought on to the NSC early in the Trump administration by Michael Flynn, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I’m ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated FBI rules MORE's first national security adviser who was ousted after just a few weeks.

In his White House role, Cohen-Watnick oversaw covert action and other intelligence programs. 

The New York Times reported that Cohen-Watnick holds harsher views on China and Russia and believes the intelligence community should be more aggressive toward both countries.

The NSC aide left the Trump administration in August as part of a string of changes under Flynn's replacement, H.R. McMaster.

McMaster has since also left the administration after leading the NSC for more than a year. He has been replaced in that role by John Bolton, who officially took over Monday.

Morgan Chalfant contributed