Ousted NSC staffer Cohen-Watnick joining DOJ as Sessions adviser

Ousted NSC staffer Cohen-Watnick joining DOJ as Sessions adviser
© Getty

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: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Faith communities are mobilizing against Trump’s family separation policy Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal MORE on counterintelligence and counterterrorism.


Cohen-Watnick was brought on to the NSC early in the Trump administration by Michael Flynn, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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