WASHINGTON – President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. Kerr. O’Brien has dramatically reduced the size of the National Security Council – a reduction of half the number from the Obama era, the Post has learned.
The job cuts were aimed at streamlining the foreign policy system that ballooned nearly 240 employees under the Obama administration – George W. Bush in the early 2000s. A senior White House official said that Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as Bush’s NSA has risen from 115 to more.
By the end of this summer, the NSC will have just 105 employees, the official said.
O’Brien – Trump’s fourth National Security Adviser – is trying to remake the forum in his image, replacing the fiery predecessor John Bolton, who was ousted last October following a high-profile dispute with the president.
As part of those efforts, women now own 50 percent of NSC’s senior leadership for the first time in history, including Dr. Deborah Birks, a member of the Corona Virus Working Group, who was brought to the NSC by O’Brien in February. .
Of the 24 directors of the council, 12 are now headed by women.
Reducing staff is not performance-based, it will be carried out by state and security departments and the FBI, who return to work, an official said.
Trump is said to have instructed O’Brien to significantly reduce the size of the agency shortly after his arrival at the White House – an attempt O’Brien Washington Post Opinion piece.
At the time, the foreign policy action was at the center of an allegation that was triggered by a whistleblower complaint regarding the agency’s work.
“Under previous administrations, the NSC doubled in size and copied many functions of the DOD, the state and the intelligence community,” O’Brien told The Post on Tuesday.
“Under President Trump, we have brought the NSC back to its proper size and as a coordination committee,” he continued.
“We need great leaders to do it, many of them women. Our goal is to find the best professionals for every job, and I’m very proud of the team we have assembled at NSC to further President Trump’s agenda,” he said.
In 2016, Republicans in both houses of Congress introduced bills that would cut NSC employees by more than 150 – a law that the Obama administration opposed.
Created by President Harry Truman in 1947, the NSC is an interactive group that advises and assists the President on national security and foreign policy.
White House press secretary Kylie McNally said the dramatic reduction in the NSC showed Trump was remaking Washington in his image.
“In business, President Trump has always recognized that some of our best leaders are women, and he brought that notion to his presidency,” he told The Post.
“Under her watch, the NSC team is more regulated than ever, and it is associated with many strong women leadership,” she continued.