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Officials reveal Trump has ordered huge cuts to the national security agency at heart of whistleblower complaint

Officials reveal Trump has ordered huge cuts to the national security agency at heart of whistleblower complaint

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Late on Friday night, Bloomberg quietly announced that the Trump administration would be making “substantial” cuts to America’s 310-person National Security Council. Five officials familiar with the matter say that the request came from White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and new NSC chief Robert O’Brien, who replaced the outgoing John Bolton.

While some of the officials insisted that this was part of an effort to “increase efficiency” at the agency, the timing of the cuts so soon after a whistleblower complaint related to the NSC’s work led to the beginning of an impeachment inquiry is raising eyebrows across the nation.

That whistleblower revealed that the President and his lawyers had been hiding the transcripts of incriminating phone calls on classified NSC servers.

On Friday, Trump retweeted an unproven allegation that the whistleblower was a CIA official assigned to the NSC by President Obama, with the implication, of course, is that the whistleblower is part of a conspiracy by the Democrats and the “deep state” to sabotage the president.

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That narrative, desperately being pushed by the Trump team, doesn’t really mesh with the fact that the most damning evidence of wrongdoing — the transcript of the now infamous call between President Trump and Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky — was released by the White House itself, but Trumpworld has never been too concerned with consistency.

But given the president’s demonstrated obsession with hunting and purging disloyal elements from his administration, it’s hard to see this surprising cut to NSC staff as anything but retaliatory pushback against the agency that ended up exposing even more of his corrupt and potentially illegal behavior for the whole world to see.

Original reporting by Jennifer Jacobs and Justin Sink at Bloomberg.

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