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Former Trump campaign adviser named to senior role at CIA: report

Former Trump campaign adviser named to senior role at CIA: report
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Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bert Mizusawa, a 2016 campaign adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE, assumed a role as a senior adviser to the CIA earlier this year, an atypical arrangement for such a position, Politico reported Wednesday.

Mizusawa has worked as a senior adviser for national security technology and business integration since early 2020, the publication reported Wednesday. While presidents frequently appoint political allies to the agency, it is rarely in this particular position, former officials told Politico.

When campaign surrogates are appointed to CIA leadership, it is typically for a position working out of the seventh floor of the agency’s headquarters, such as director, general counsel or deputy director. One former official told Politico an “outsider with no internal sponsorship” being appointed to the advisory position “never happens.”

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After the president was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial in 2019, he installed several political allies in intelligence positions, including Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeTop intelligence official says China targeting foreign influence at incoming Biden administration Krebs describes threats to election officials as 'undermining democracy' Schumer meets with Biden national security picks MORE and National Security Council Senior Director of Intelligence Michael Ellis.

An administration official told Politico John McEnteeJohn (Johnny) David McEnteeBiden rolls out new members of White House senior staff GOP lawmaker: Trump implementing a 'loyalty purge' amid firing of top cybersecurity official Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up MORE, the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, assigned Mizusawa to the role. McEntee, 33, reportedly conducted a series of interviews this summer with departmental officials to gauge their loyalty to Trump.

Current and former officials told Politico Mizusawa, meanwhile, could have been installed to monitor Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCongress set for chaotic year-end sprint A strong, committed intelligence community is part of America's good fortune Women set to take key roles in Biden administration MORE. External allies of the president have reportedly taken umbrage at Haspel’s recent refusal to declassify documents pertaining to the investigation of his 2016 campaign, and Mizusawa has been discussed as a possible candidate to replace her if Trump is reelected.

CIA press secretary Tim Barrett told the publication that Mizusawa “serves as a senior adviser on national security technology, bringing his deep expertise to CIA’s mission. Any notion that he was ‘installed’ here is ridiculous. He went through the normal process for an outside expert hire.”