The Trump White House resembles an episode of Game of Thrones more and more every day.
According to sources who spoke with the New York Times‘ Glenn Thrush, new White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a young National Security Council member and ally to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, in an attempt to assert his authority.
“Kelly backed firing of Kushner ally Ezra Cohen-Watnick to make it clear HR McMaster, not Jared/Bannon, has control of NSC hiring,” Thrush tweeted, citing sources close to Cohen-Watnick’s firing.
The source also told him that “Kushner had resigned himself to Cohen-Watnick’s firing weeks ago, before Kelly was hired, respects lines of authority.”
Cohen-Watnick was reportedly the source of intelligence leaked to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the House Intelligence Committee chairman who made headlines earlier this year for taking it upon himself to release information about Trump Tower being “incidentally” surveilled by President Barack Obama.
Cohen-Watnick was also a member of the “Bannon wing” of the White House — a hard-right cabal of ideologues who battled with the more centrist wing represented national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The supposed power struggle between the Bannon and McMaster wings is reportedly over who gets the president’s ear on difficult issues like the war in Afghanistan.