Defense acting policy chief resigns

The Pentagon’s acting policy chief has resigned, the Defense Department confirmed on Tuesday.

Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson “submitted his letter of resignation to the President this morning, effective today,” according to a Pentagon statement.

The departure comes a day after President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE fired Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperJan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows Milley and China — what the Senate really needs to know Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan MORE.


No additional details were given as to why Anderson resigned, though Anthony Tata, President Trump’s controversial pick for the job, will step into the role.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, “has delegated the responsibilities of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to Mr. Anthony Tata.  As such, Mr. Tata is the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy,” according to the statement.

The statement added that Thomas Williams will step into the role vacated by Tata and "perform the duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy."

Politico was the first to report on the departure, and said it was expected that the White House would ask Anderson to resign in the next few days due to disagreements with its personnel office.

Anderson was confirmed in June to be deputy undersecretary for policy, though he has been the acting policy head since February when John Rood, the previous confirmed policy chief, was pressured to resign over a perceived lack of loyalty to Trump’s agenda.

In his resignation letter, published by Politico, Anderson wrote that he was “particularly grateful to have been entrusted with leading the dedicated men and women of Policy, who play a key role in our Nation’s security.”


“Now, as ever, our long-term success depends on adhering to the U.S. Constitution all public servants swear to support and defend," he said.

Anderson’s is the first of several resignations expected in the coming days and weeks following Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE.

Trump on Monday announced over Twitter that he had fired Esper in a move that has been lambasted by lawmakers and throws into doubt the military chain of command in the eleven weeks until Biden’s inauguration.

With Anderson gone, the role may go to Tata, a controversial White House nominee and a frequent Fox News commentator. Tata was placed in a senior role at the Pentagon in late July after his confirmation hearing was canceled and he withdrew his name from consideration to be the undersecretary of Defense for policy following the unearthing of Islamophobic tweets.

In Tata’s tweets, he called Obama a “terrorist leader” and a "Manchurian candidate,” and called Islam the "most oppressive violent religion I know of."

He has since deleted the tweets and has said regrets writing them.