Trump Ousts Top Defense Official

Trump ousts top defense official who certified Ukraine aid

WRVA News
February 19, 2020 - 11:47 am
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2018, file photo, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood, speaks during a news conference on the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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By LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) —John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official who had certified last year that the Defense Department had seen enough anti-corruption progress in Ukraine to justify releasing congressionally authorized aid, has resigned at President Donald Trump's request.

The Trump administration's delay in releasing that aid was central to the president's impeachment by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate voted to acquit the president. But in the wake of the Senate trial, an emboldened Trump has gone after officials he has perceived as being disloyal.

Rood, the undersecretary of defense for policy, appears to be the latest official to be purged.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he wanted to “thank John Rood for his service to our Country, and wish him well in his future endeavors!”

Rood's letter of resignation did not mention Ukraine but said that he was leaving at Trump's request.

"It's my understanding from Secretary (Mark) Esper that you requested my resignation," Rood said in his letter to Trump, adding that he will step down as of Feb. 28.

 

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