As Ukraine Purge Continues, Trump Fires Top Pentagon Official
Top Pentagon policy official John Rood, who spoke out against Trump’s Ukraine effort, was asked to step down from his position, continuing the purge of administration officials who were against Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme, CNN reported Wednesday morning.
A copy of Rood’s resignation letter, obtained by CBS, made clear the request came from Trump.
“It is my understanding from Secretary Esper that you requested my resignation,” Rood wrote to Trump.
Rood, who served as the defense undersecretary for policy, spoke out against Trump’s plan to withhold military aid to Ukraine in order to force the country to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Rood wrote in an email to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, hours after Trump’s infamous July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, “Placing a hold on security assistance at this time would jeopardize this unique window of opportunity and undermine our defense priorities with a key partner in the strategic competition with Russia,” according to CNN.
Rood is the latest member of the administration who Trump has ousted over the Ukraine scandal. Trump was impeached over the scheme, but Senate Republicans acquitted him — saying that, while Trump’s behavior was wrong, they felt Trump had learned his lesson and thus did not warrant removal from office.
However, immediately after his acquittal, Trump began purging officials who testified in the impeachment probe, including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and Gordon Sondland, the now-former United States ambassador to the European Union and a key figure in the Ukraine plot.
Rood, for his part, is expected to depart his position soon.
At the Pentagon, Rood worked on implementing the Trump administration’s efforts to counter aggression from Russia and China.
In his resignation letter, Rood wrote, “I leave with the utmost admiration for the outstanding team with which I worked at the Defense Department.”
Updated with additional information for John Rood’s resignation letter.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.