Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell is by all accounts a very bright woman. She has illustrated her savvy by getting out of the Trump White House on a high note, without a lot of enemies, while preserving her ability to influence the president from outside government. The Washington Post has the story:
Unlike some top White House officials who were fired or resigned amid controversy earlier this year, Powell is exiting on good terms with the president, the officials said. She and Trump have discussed her departure and are working on an arrangement for Powell to continue advising the administration on Middle East policy from outside the government, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Powell’s departure has not yet been publicly announced.
Powell committed to serving in her national security job for a full year and her decision to leave is her own, the officials said. She plans to move home early next year to New York, where her family lives.
It’s not unusual for people in a new administration to commit for just a year and then bail. Given the instability of this particular administration, the exodus could be especially large as the first-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration approaches. For Powell, it was probably a good idea to get out of Washington before the backlash to the administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital reaches its zenith. Indeed, a good long vacation from public notice might be wise.
For the administration, her departure could place more pressure on her ally (and the husband of her good friend Ivanka Trump) Jared Kushner, who is leading a complicated life these days. And if this administration has a minimum quota for former Goldman Sachs execs, there will now be an opening for one more.