It is being reported today that Tom Bossert has been forced to resign his position at the White House by newly appointed National Security Adviser John Bolton. There is absolutely nothing about this that is good news. This is not winning.
According to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs (very reliable) Bossert was essentially fired from his position as Homeland Security Adviser due to a conflict with incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton (replaced HR McMaster).
According to Jacobs: “Tom Bossert is regarded as an effective and professional figure by colleagues. But he resisted a reorganization of the National Security Council that made him subordinate to the national security adviser, then H.R. McMaster.” The White House released the following statement:
The President is grateful for Toms commitment to the safety and security of our great country. Tom led the White Houses efforts to protect the homeland from terrorist threats, strengthen our cyber defenses, and respond to an unprecedented series of natural disasters. President Trump thanks him for his patriotic service and wishes him well.
In December 2016 when Tom Bossert was appointed the following was released:
[…] Mr. Bossert will advise the President on issues related to homeland security, counter-terrorism, and cyber-security, and coordinate the Cabinet’s process for formulating and executing policy in these matters.
The role, performed by a deputy national security advisor in the previous Administration, is being elevated and restored to its independent status alongside the National Security Advisor, a decision that reflects the unwavering commitment President-elect Trump has to the safety and security of the Nation, its people and territory.
Mr. Bossert will focus on domestic and transnational security priorities as [The National Security Advisor – Flynn] remains steadfastly focused on international security challenges. (link)
Apparently, John Bolton had an issue with Tom Bossert being a linear peer on domestic security issues and demanded Mr. Bossert be lowered in status to a subordinate level below Bolton’s authority. Rather than take a forced reduction in status, Bossert resigned.
This is a big loss.
Mr. Bossert was exceptional in his role and his expertise with policy execution on cyber-security and coordinated national disaster response was excellent. Bossert was easily one of the most effective communicators in the administration with a rare ability to take complex issues and present them in ways that are easily understood by the people absorbing the information. Bossert’s skill amid the crisis of last year’s multiple Hurricanes was invaluable.
While there’s no doubt Bossert will be heavily recruited in the private sector, and easily find an important role amid any complex organization, it is certain the White House will not be able to replace his level of subject matter expertise and jaw-dropping competence.