Senior US spy, diplomats leaving despite being asked to stay on
A top U.S. intelligence officer and two senior diplomats are leaving the government despite appearing on a Jan. 17 list of those asked to stay on under President-elect Donald Trump, current and former U.S. officials said on Thursday.
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Cathy Novelli and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Toria Nuland have told colleagues they are stepping down, the sources said.
All three appear on a partial Trump transition team list of political appointees who had been asked to stay on. The list, seen by Reuters, is dated 10 a.m. on Tuesday Jan. 17.
It was not clear whether the partial list seen by Reuters was the same as the more than 50 people Trump plans to keep.
A transition spokesman on Thursday told reporters Trump had asked more than 50 people to stay in critical government posts. He named some of these including Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and Acting Under Secretary of Treasury Adam Szubin.
Transition spokesman Sean Spicer said these were some of those staying on until a replacement can be named.
A spokesman for Szubin said he would lead the Treasury Department until a new secretary is in place to “ensure the smooth continuity of leadership,” but then will leave the government.
Current and former U.S. officials said that Novelli, Nuland and O’Sullivan have all told colleagues that they plan to leave and do not intend to serve under Trump.
A State Department spokesman declined comment on the matter, deferring to the Trump transition team or the people themselves to speak about their plans. The transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed, Warren Strobel, John Walcott, Lesley Wroughton)