President-elect Trump’s transition team is facing new questions about what progress, if any, the incoming Republican leader and his staff have made in filling hundreds of national security slots as he prepares to take over the government in just over two months.
Sources familiar with the transition operation revealed last week that Trump’s team was encountering major hurdles and rejection during its recruiting of defense and intelligence experts to join the forthcoming administration. Matters were made worse on Tuesday when former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers suddenly quit his central role in the national-security transition process.
“It was a privilege to prepare and advise the policy, personnel and agency action teams on all aspects of the national security portfolio during the initial pre-election planning phase,” Rogers, a hawkish but highly-respected GOP national security official, said in a statement.
Rogers’ abrupt departure was immediately followed by reports that Matthew Freedman, a Washington-based security consultant, would no longer be leading the National Security Council transition after Trump had him removed from the position due to concerns about his lobbying ties.