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 TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE fired Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Former Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute CORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report 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 BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits 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.