The main architect of President Trump’s Middle East policy will be leaving the White House as the end of his first year in office approaches, according to an article in today’s Washington Post. The newspaper cites four senior administration officials as the source for the information.
Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell is reportedly exiting the administration of her own accord on good terms and is negotiating a consulting arrangement to continue advising the president from the civilian world. Powell, who was born in Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic, had previously worked in the administration of George W. Bush as well as with Goldman Sachs.
She was considered to be one of the rare establishment Republicans in a Trump administration that has gone to great lengths to upend the traditional foreign policy order.
One senior White House official described Powell’s relationship with President Trump as “really trusting” and said of his first year in office, “Without her, it would have been worse.”
While that may be difficult to imagine, Powell’s work has been praised by even some Democrats:
“Dina has been one of the most respected and capable national security professionals in this administration — really in any administration,” said Jeremy Bash, who served in the Obama administration as chief of staff to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “She’s been able to be a bridge between the foreign policy establishment and the administration, and she has been trusted by both sides.”
Powell is expected to be the first of several figures in the administration leaving after Trump’s extremely rocky initial year in office. Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson is rumored to be planning an exit shortly, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly on the short list to replace him.
Powell has indicated that she originally only planned to stay in the White House for a year before returning to her family in New York, but after such a chaotic first year in the Trump administration, many observers wonder if this is just the beginning of a mass exodus as the rats leave the sinking ship.
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