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Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood resigns

After Trump’s impeachment trial, where he was acquited of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges over his pressure campaign on Ukraine, the president quickly proceeded to oust members of his administration who testified in the House impeachment inquiry, including Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from the White House National Security Council and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

In the latest chapter of Trump’s “retribution tour,” the Pentagon’s top policy official is out, and his resignation comes at the president’s request. Rood had one of the Defense Department’s most senior posts and has been on the job for two years.

Thursday morning, Trump acknowledged Roop’s leaving, according to Politico, tweeting: “I would like to thank John Rood for his service to our Country, and wish him well in his future endeavors!”

There was one important thing missing from Trump’s tweet, however. Trump had told Defense Secretary Mark Esper he wanted Rood out of the picture. In a letter written Wednesday, according to CNN News, Rood wrote: “It is my understanding from Secretary Esper that you requested my resignation from serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Senior administration officials appointed by the President serve at the pleasure of the President, and therefore, as you have requested, I am providing my resignation effective February 28, 2020,” Rood wrote in his letter to President Donald Trump, dated Wednesday.
Rood came under scrutiny because he was the official who certified in May to Congress that Ukraine was eligible to receive $250 million in security assistance, according to Bloomberg.

However, some former DoD officials say that Rood was asked to resign due to “unhappiness with him for some time.” Back in December 2019, Digital Journal reported on a number of Pentagon officials’ resignations. This is where the “toxic work environment” first came up.

So, who was to blame for the apparently toxic environment in the Pentagon? According to Foreign Policy, many current and former defense officials laid the blame at the feet of John Rood, the Defense Department’s top policy official. According to Foreign Policy, “Nearly a dozen current and former officials who spoke to Foreign Policy on condition of anonymity pointed to Rood as a major contributor to the departures and the Pentagon’s struggle to fill the empty posts.”

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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