Top Trump administration officials are discussing reassigning a senior National Security Council (NSC) official to the Department fo Energy, amid speculation she is “anonymous” — the author who penned an anti-Trump op-ed that later became a book, according to a report.
Axios reported Monday that two sources familiar with the planning said that Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates, who was elevated to the role just two months ago, could be transferred amid an effort by some within the administration to tag her as “anonymous.”
The outlet said her working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien is “strained.” Coates reportedly denied being “anonymous” to colleagues, and one of the literary agents of the book released a statement that said Coates is not the author, did not edit the book, did not see it in advance, and did not know about it.
The discussions involve Coates potentially taking on a senior role at the Energy Department, according to Axios.
National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot told Breitbart News in a statement, “We do not comment on personnel matters.”
There have been several departures from the NSC in recent weeks. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, were both reassigned from the NSC back to the Army.
Vindman testified during the House impeachment inquiry that he was so disturbed by the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he reported it to the NSC’s general counsel along with his brother. He likely also spoke with the “whistleblower,” whose complaint launched the House Democrats’ impeachment effort.
O’Brien recently described their removal as his decision and part of a restructuring of the NSC. Under the Obama administration, the NSC ballooned in size. Ullyot told Breitbart News the restructuring continues.
“We remain on track to meeting the rightsizing goal Ambassador O’Brien outlined in October, and in fact may exceed that target by drawing down even more positions,” he said.
In October, O’Brien wrote in an op-ed that policy positions at the NSC would go from 174 to under 120 by early 2020.