Donald Trump’s White House is now in such chaos that the firing and/or resignation of top officials has become a daily occurrence. Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci have all been ousted in high profile fashion the past ten days. But in a parallel development that’s largely played out under the radar until now, three top National Security Council officials have also been fired in that same timeframe – and one of them is the infamous Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
As Palmer Report posted earlier, Derek Harvey and Rich Higgins – both of whom were loyal to Steve Bannon – had been fired from top National Security Council posts over the past week (link). But now comes word from Conservative Review that Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been fired from the National Security Council as well (link). This comes just one week after Cohen-Watnick’s job was reportedly saved by Steve Bannon (link). All of these NSC firings are being carried out by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, in an apparent attempt at ousting Bannon, even as McMaster’s job is also reported to be in jeopardy. But the Cohen-Watnick firing is nothing short of stunning.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick was first hired to the National Security Council by then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. For reasons never fully fleshed out, Cohen-Watnick was so untouchable that he survived and prospered in the NSC even after Flynn was fired. Back in April, Palmer Report was able to dig up a number of details about Cohen-Watnick (link), despite his seeming lifelong attempt at remaining off the grid. But as other scandals and personnel came to the public forefront, he had largely been forgotten about – until today, when he was suddenly fired.
It’s difficult to imagine that H.R. McMaster could have gotten away with firing someone as prominent and protected as Ezra Cohen-Watnick unless he had the direct approval of Donald Trump himself. Considering that all three key people fired from the NSC over the past week were Steve Bannon loyalists, this must now be interpreted as a Trump-sanctioned effort to weaken Bannon in order to get rid of him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report