The senior director for intelligence programs on the NSC is a powerful position, jen to coordinate and liaise between the U. The CIA has traditionally had control over who fills this position, and normally the job is staffed by a more experienced official. Information about him in publicly available sources is scarce.
Nunes eventually bowed to pressure—and an ethics complaint—and announced his recusal on April 6. Yet he hardly comes into sharper focus when you talk to co-workers, friends, and former colleagues. The president later accused Rice of having committed a crime; for her part, Rice has denied that she ordered the unmasking for political purposes. Has he retained his job due to his talent, or is he being protected because he's advancing the agenda of powerful West Wing patrons?
But this is the Trump White House, a hotbed of resentments even when they're not spilling over into public view. Records show he registered to vote in with a Miami address, as a Republican and as a Hispanic male his mother is Colombian.
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His father is a lawyer; his mother a doctor; the couple is separated. The incident snowballed quickly. Citing four U. But even the seemingly straightforward question of how and when they met yields contradictory and conflicting s. Is he brash and difficult to work with, or modest and brilliant? But one official with womrn of the incident offered a sharply different. He was going, it turned out, to the White House. Despite that early controversy, Cohen-Watnick retains one of the most consequential intelligence jobs in the nation, and his influence is rising.
Kushner and the president were apparently impressed with the young briefer and took an interest in him. Those drawn from me ranks of the Republican foreign-policy establishment tend to favor its traditional views: committed to longstanding alliances like NATO, skeptical of Russia, and supportive of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ask around about Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and people get defensive. The Nunes scandal cemented Cohen-Watnick's reputation as a loyalist and as someone who could withstand the heat of public controversy.
But then, McMaster himself became the target of unflattering leaks.
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In a tweet on March 4, Trump had accused the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower during the election. His spokesman did not respond to requests for an interview for this story. Cohen-Watnick is listed on an online roster among a group that attended the Penn in D. One White House official praised Cohen-Watnick as a "true professional and most importantly he is incredibly loyal to the president and this administration.
Is he Flynn's mole on the council, or does he not even know the deposed national-security adviser all that well? Few higher-ups from the DIA remember him.
His friend from school says the last time they saw him or heard from him was before the spring semester that year. Cohen-Watnick has developed a reputation as one of the primary proponents of an aggressive, Flynn-style stance towards Iran within the NSC. Cohen-Watnick na, however, intern for then-Senator Joe Biden in high school. What remains a mystery is who exactly has protected him since Flynn went down, and why. But the question of who cleared Nunes onto White House grounds, and why Cohen-Watnick was looking into the material, have never been fully answered.
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Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine won 74 percent of the vote there in The senior director for intelligence programs on the NSC is a powerful position, deed to coordinate and liaise between the U. But once more, different officials offer flatly contradictory versions of what transpired. Information about him in publicly available sources is scarce. Liberal, affluent Montgomery County is not exactly a hotbed of right-wing sentiment.
Nunes claimed at one point that his source had been an intelligence official, not White House.
Cohen-Watnick entered the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of Barbara introduced him to Cohen-Watnick; the couple connected the young officer with Flynn, and the two kept in touch over the course of the year. He was chosen for the NSC job during the transition, surprising his new colleagues. Cohen-Watnick was asked to look at unmasking procedures by a civil servant working in the Situation Room as part of a review, this official claimed, weeks before the Nunes visit to the White House.
The general came in with a brash approach that rubbed his colleagues the wrong way and eventually seekinb to his being forced out in by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike Vickers. Bannon and Ledeen may be wary of talking about Cohen-Watnick after his first, and thus far only, turn in the national spotlight. They suggest that this is motivated by his conflict with the CIA.
A DIA spokesperson confirmed that Cohen-Watnick had ed the DIA inand left it in January ofbut would otherwise not confirm or comment on the details of his service. It chasee in high school when Cohen-Watnick seems to have become politically active.
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Was he a central player in the Nunes scandal, or just a bystander? Asked what he does for fun, the colleague said Cohen-Watnick works out and re military history and philosophy. Whether or not Cohen-Watnick was actually one of Nunes's sources, the public reports tied him to the controversy. But the Trump administration recently announced a ceasefire agreement for southwest Syria negotiated with Russia.
After the Assad regime used chemical weapons against civilians in April, for example, Trump ordered strikes against one of their airbases, angering Syria's ally Russia.
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He is in the thick of some of the most important policy fights at the White House; he is viewed as an Iran hawk and has been characterizedfor instance, as a main proponent of expanding U. He struck one classmate there at the time as a libertarian, but over the years seemed to shift in a more hawkish direction, the classmate said. Unlike other White House officials who have become public figures in their own right, Cohen-Watnick never speaks for himself publicly, leaving others to fill the void.
But in Septemberhe also told a friend that his main goal was working for the CIA.