Senior director Ezra Cohen-Watnick out at National Security Council


The senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council left the agency, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

A White House official said Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was hired during the brief tenure of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, “has left the National Security Council [NSC].”

{mosads}”[National Security Advisor] Gen. McMaster appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC’s Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen’s leadership,” a White House official said.

“He has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward,” the official continued. “Gen. McMaster is confident that Ezra will make many further significant contributions to national security in another position in the administration.”

Cohen-Watnick’s departure is the latest in a string of exits from the National Security Council under H.R. McMaster, who has reportedly sought to purge Flynn appointees. 

Another Flynn hire, retired Army intelligence officer Derek Harvey, was ousted from the NSC last week. He had been working as a senior Middle East adviser.

Cohen-Watnick’s removal is the second significant personnel change at the White House since Retired Gen. John Kelly took over as chief of staff.

A few hours after Kelly was sworn in on Monday, the White House announced the departure of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

– This story was updated at 6:32 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump ezra cohen-watnick H.R. McMaster Michael Flynn

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