Photo via Victoria Coates official Twitter.
UPDATED 3:40 PM PT — Thursday, February 20, 2020
A National Security Council official has been reassigned to another part of the administration after her loyalty was called into question. On Thursday, the NSC confirmed Victoria Coates will leave her post as deputy adviser and join the Energy Department.
This came after the White House dismissed rumors Coates was suspected of being the anonymous author behind an anti-Trump op-ed.
“White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of ‘Anonymous: A Warning’ or the related op-ed in the New York Times,” stated one senior official. “Dr. Coates’ transition to the Department of Energy has been in the works for several weeks, and reflects the continued trust and confidence the administration places in her as she takes on this sensitive role at the Department of Energy, where she will continue working to implement the president’s agenda.”
A report from Axios this week claimed the circumstances surrounding her removal were tied to her strained relationship with top NSC staff. It alleged others in the administration believed she was behind the New York Times piece and were pushing for her removal.
FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, the south side of the White House is pictured before President Donald Trump arrives. Victoria Coates, a top official on the National Security Council, is being reassigned amid fallout over the identity of the author of the inside-the-White House tell-all book by “Anonymous.” (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
The issue has since been addressed by the president.
“I know all about Anonymous, I know a lot about the leakers too,” he said. “When I want to get something out the press, I tell certain people and it gets out there.”
In the meantime, the NSC has announced Coates will begin her new role on Monday, where she will reportedly ensure the close alignment of national security and energy policy.
“We are enthusiastic about adding Dr. Coates to DOE, where her expertise on the Middle East and national security policy will be helpful,” stated Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “She will play an important role on our team.”