Earlier in the week we wrote about the astounding lack of information available regarding Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a key deputy on Donald Trump’s White House National Security Council team who was nearly fired, then not really fired, then allegedly gave classified intel to Congressman Devin Nunes, and still somehow has his job. We couldn’t find a photo of him, and couldn’t find any real history for him. But thanks to Palmer Report’s in-house research team, and the efforts of our readers, and a couple of outside sleuths, we now have quite a picture of who he is.
To be clear, we’re not publishing any of the following details in an attempt at embarrassing Mr. Cohen-Watnick or making his personal life difficult. Instead, we are merely concerned that someone with virtually no known personal history is currently holding such a high position in Trump’s White House and appears to be strategically handing out classified intel to a Congressman who’s supposed to be investigating Trump over possibly treasonous activities with Russia.
The first piece of the puzzle came from another reporter, Laura Rozen from Al-Monitor, a popular and respected international publication which focuses on the Middle East. She reported on Twitter that “Cohen was in NROTC in college but quit senior year so that he didn’t have to serve the 5 years. applied to CIA, ended up at DIA” according to one of his friends (link). Rozen tweeted this photo, which she says she got from “a college associate” and she believes is Ezra Cohen-Watnick:
photo courtesy @lrozen
Notably, when we ran the above photo through a Google Image search reverse lookup, we found that it produces no results at all beyond Rozen’s own posting of the photo. This means that the photo has never previously appeared on any publicly visible page anywhere on the internet, and that Cohen-Watnick had indeed managed to prevent this photo from making its way online until now.
So at least we know what he apparently looks like. Or we should say looked like, because he’s thirty years old and finished college years ago. But Palmer Report readers have dug up some other details that may be prescient. For instance, after The Forward (link) sleuthed out that he’s married to Rebecca Miller, one of our readers was then able to hunt down their bridal registration at Bloomingdale’s. It consists mainly of pillows and does not reveal anything personally compromising, so we’ll go ahead and link to it because it does contain one key piece of relevant information.
When you look at the Bloomingdale’s bridal registry (link), it’s listed as being between “Ezra Cohen & Rebecca Miller” – and not Ezra Cohen-Watnick. This strongly suggests that he goes by “Erza Cohen” in personal circles, which in turn would explain why it’s been so difficult for the public to hunt down photographs or past information about him. There are a large number of people named Ezra Cohen, and every one of the first fifty Google Image search results can be ruled out as being someone other than him. But this does suggest that any further research should be conducted under the name “Ezra Cohen” – even if that name is too common to easily parse.
Palmer Report has obtained Ezra Cohen-Watnick’s college email address, which we will not give out publicly, but it does confirm earlier scattered reports that he attended University of Pennsylvania. We can also now add that his email address was assigned by the school’s College of Arts and Sciences, meaning that he was majoring in that field at the time the email address was assigned to him. However, this does not necessarily mean that his eventual degree was in that same field.
The most potentially relevant known detail about Ezra Cohen-Watnick remains the fact that his wife was a publicist for Vladimir Putin, through a United States public relations firm called Ketchum. This was initially unearthed by respected Holocaust attorney E. Randol Schoenberg (link), and we’ve since elaborated on the political context (link). The bottom line: his wife has received income (most likely indirectly) from the Kremlin.
As was pointed out on-air by NBC News intel analyst Malcolm Nance over the weekend, Ezra Cohen-Watnick is too young and has too thin of a resume to legitimately hold the senior job that he currently has on Donald Trump’s White House National Security Council. That, combined with his difficult to ascertain past, his involvement in the Nunes scandal, his untouchable nature in Donald Trump’s eyes even after new National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tried to fire him (source: NY Times), and his wife’s ties to Putin, it all means that the American public is owed more information about who he is – and why he’s in the crucial public servant position that he’s in. Considering his job title, this is literally a matter of national security.
If any news outlet wishes to use any of the above information that Palmer Report has sleuthed out, feel free to do so, but please credit us. If any news outlet uses the photo uncovered by Laura Rozen or the family tree uncovered by E. Randol Schoenberg, please credit them. Thank you.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report