A day after President Trump terminated Mark Esper, essentially firing the Secretary of Defense via public Twitter statement, another top official has immediately followed after clashing with the White House.
The Pentagon’s top policy official James Anderson has resigned this morning, according to Politico, which writes:
The departure of James Anderson, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, potentially paves the way for Anthony Tata, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the top policy job who was pulled from contention due to Islamophobic tweets, to take over the policy shop. Anderson’s resignation also comes one day after Defense Secretary Mark Esper was fired by Trump, also over policy disagreements.
Anderson served as the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy – the highest adviser to the Secretary of Defense in formulating policy directions. He replaced prior Undersecretary of Defense John Rood in an acting capacity early this year.
As we predicted, this appears part of a post-election purge and exodus following multiple federal agency top officials either being pushed out or resigning since last Thursday even as votes were being tallied.
Anderson wrote in his resignation letter: “I am particularly grateful to have been entrusted with leading the dedicated men and women of Policy, who play a key role in our Nation’s security.”
He said further: “Now, as ever, our long-term success depends on adhering to the U.S. Constitution all public servants swear to support and defend.”
Politico strongly suggested there’s more to come, noting, “Anderson stepped down after clashing with the White House personnel office, according to current defense officials and one former defense official, who expect Anderson will be the first of several departures in the wake of Esper’s firing.”