Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates is leaving the National Security Council (NSC) to become a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, according to Axios.
The move comes after a whisper campaign that Coates is “Anonymous,” the White House official who penned an anti-Trump op-ed and book.
Coates has vehemently denied she is “Anonymous,” and a senior administration official told the outlet that the administration “rejects” claims that she is.
“The White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of ‘A Warning’ or the related op-ed in the New York Times,” a senior administration official told Axios.
“Dr. Coates’ transition to the Department of Energy has been in the works for several weeks and reflects the continued trust and confidence the administration places in her as she takes on this sensitive role at the Department of Energy, where she will continue working to implement the president’s agenda,” the official added.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told the outlet:
While I’m sad to lose an important member of our team, Victoria will be a big asset to Secretary Brouillette as he executes the president’s energy security policy priorities. She has served the president loyally since the earliest days of the administration and has played a valued role in the President’s Middle East policy.
The reassignment comes after a number of personnel moves at the NSC in recent weeks.
Jennifer Williams, a career official who was on assignment in the vice president’s office was recently returned to the State Department. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, who were on assignment to the NSC, were returned to the Army. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was recently removed. All four testified in the House impeachment inquiry.
O’Brien said the changes were part of a restructuring of the NSC, from its numbers of more than 200 policy staffers under the Obama administration to its historic size of much fewer staffers. He announced in October that the plan was to get to under 120 staffers. NSC spokesman John Ullyot told Breitbart News on Tuesday that O’Brien could go farther beyond that.