Mike Rogers, a former Republican Michigan congressman, has jumped Trump’s transitional ship amid a reported “knife fight” of an operation. In a statement released Tuesday, Rogers, who was the national security senior adviser on the team, said:
“America’s challenges domestically and overseas are so enormous that we needed to move in a drastically different direction for our country. The American people felt that, and made a historic choice that shocked the political and media establishment. It was my pleasure to take to the national television and radio airwaves to highlight the stark choice between the bold change represented by President-elect Trump and the dangerous status quo represented by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
NBC reported that there are currently a “Stalinesque purge” of anyone associated with Chris Christie as the relationship between the New Jersey governor and Trump continues to unravel.
Two sources close to Rogers said he had been the victim of what one called a “Stalinesque purge,” from the transition of people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who left Friday. It was unclear which other aides close to Christie had also been forced out.
Given the historical tradition for a smooth transition of administrations, Rogers’ resignation – the second surprise shakeup within the team within a week, leaves many to wonder what chaos is to come. But perhaps Rogers, a former House Intelligence Committee Chairman, knows more than he is letting on to. If he does sense greater tumultuous times to come, he’s keeping quiet. The statement didn’t say why he was leaving, just that he was:
“…proud of the team that we assembled at Trump for America to produce meaningful policy, personnel and agency action guidance on the complex national security challenges facing our great country.
Our work will provide a strong foundation for the new transition team leadership as they move into the postelection phase, which naturally is incorporating the campaign team in New York who drove President-elect Trump to an incredible victory last Tuesday.”
The new team leadership of which he speaks is, of course, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who replaced Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey last Friday after President-elect Trump abruptly ousted him. Notably, Mike Rogers is considered a “close ally” of Christie, which may explain his sudden discomfort.
This chaos is rightfully making Republicans nervous. Eliot A. Cohen, a former State Department official in George W. Bush’s White House, was considering taking a policy position with the new Republican administration but instead took to Twitter after meeting with Trump’s team:
After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly.
— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) November 15, 2016
If Trump can’t even keep a Republican transition team out of a constant state of disarray, let alone a knife fight, how in the hell is he going to lead a country? I think we all know the answer to that.
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images