Oct 5, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Report: Trump orders National Security staff cut

In this image, Trump and O'Brien speak to each other while both wearing suits. The blue sky is seen behind them.

President Trump and Robert O'Brien on Sept. 18. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump "has ordered a substantial reduction" of the National Security Council's staff, Bloomberg reports, citing 5 people familiar with the president's plans.

The big picture: Some of those sources told Bloomberg the staff cuts are "part of a White House effort to make its foreign policy arm leaner under new National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien." But the move also follows a whistleblower complaint released by a CIA officer who was previously detailed to the National Security Council, per the NY Times.

  • "Two of the people familiar with the decision to shrink the NSC insisted it was largely rooted in both the transition to O’Brien’s leadership as well as Trump’s desire to increase efficiency at the agency, which grew under former President Barack Obama," per Bloomberg.

What's happening: The cuts will largely take place "through attrition, as staffers return from assignments at the NSC to their home agencies," Bloomberg reports. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and O’Brien reportedly relayed the staff reduction request to senior agency officials this week.

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