February 19, 2020

Oh, look. King DonJohn has demanded that John Rood, yet another competent and honest official, be removed from his sight! Alysin Camerota introduced the breaking news with Jim Sciutto this morning:

"This is a very senior official, the Pentagon undersecretary for policy. So he was involved in all of the key administration priorities. Countering China, Russia, Ukraine story, notably. I'll get to that. South Korea, North Korea, Afghanistan. Had differences with the administration, has been asked for his resignation," Sciutto said.

"But the clear message here is that he's being pushed out in part because of these differences. He came in under Defense Secretary Mattis, and this is another case where you have someone who you might describe as a contrarian voice there, who will no longer be present."

"There is a very specific episode dealing with Ukraine that people can remember," John Berman said.

"Hours after the famous July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelensky, where you had this alleged quid pro quo, he wrote Esper, and CNN reviewed these emails and said about this hold, the following: "Placing a hold on security assistance at this time would jeopardize this unique window of opportunity and undermine our defense priorities with a key partner in the strategic competition with Russia," Sciutto said.

"So here's Rood, one of those voices who pushing back against the administration and therefore pushing back against the president, on holding key aid to an ally at this time."

"There's something else very significant that he was involved in," Camerota said.

"Two months before that July 25th phone call, on May 23rd, he signed a letter. Under Secretary Rood signed a letter that certified that the Department of Defense and the State Department had agreed that Ukraine had effectively resolved for the moment their corruption problem, and deserved this money to fight Russia. So he had signed off on this. That's what got the ball rolling. And then the president decided, it appears, on his own, to ignore that advice."

"Two months before the call, and this -- keep in mind as you know, this undermined a key administration and Trump argument here. That corruption was the issue. When in fact, the Pentagon and Rood signed off on this. Listen, they're handling corruption. they need the aid," Sciutto said.

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