President-elect Donald Trump's transition operation plunged into disarray on Tuesday with the abrupt resignation of Mike Rogers, who had handled national security matters, the second shake-up in less than a week on a team that has not yet begun to execute the daunting task of taking over the government.
Mr Rogers, a former congressman from Michigan who led the House Intelligence Committee, said 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".
Moreover, he said he was "pleased to hand off our work" to a new transition team led by vice president-elect Mike Pence.
In another sign of confusion, a transition official said that Mr Trump had removed a second senior defence and foreign policy official from his transition team, Matthew Freedman, who runs a Washington consulting firm that advises foreign governments and companies seeking to do business with the US government.
Mr Freedman had been in charge of co-ordinating Mr Trump’s calls to world leaders after his election. Mr Pence took the helm of the transition on Friday after
Mr Trump removed Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who had been preparing with Obama administration officials for months to put the complex transition process into motion.
That effort is now frozen, senior White House officials say, because Mr Pence has yet to sign legally required paperwork to allow his team to begin collaborating with President Barack Obama's aides on the handover.
An aide to Mr Trump’s transition team said the delay was because the wording of the document was being altered and updated and that it was likely to be signed later on Tuesday.
The turmoil upended months of planning and preparation for a process that many describe as drinking from a fire hose even in the most orderly of circumstances – a period of about 70 days between the election and the inauguration on January 20th.
During that time, the president-elect must assemble a team to take the reins of the vast federal bureaucracy and recruit, vet and hire 4,000 political appointees to help him run it.
– (New York Times)