Ex-House Intelligence Chair Abruptly Leaves Trump Transition Team

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Ex-Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, abruptly left President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team on Tuesday.

Rogers was originally brought onto the team to guide Trump’s new administration on matters of national security. He left at the request of transition team officials, according to a Bloomberg report citing two sources familiar with the matter.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Rogers called it an “honor” to advise the Trump transition team and wrote that he was handing off his duties to Trump’s family and transition staff, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) chief of staff, Rick Dearborn, who Rogers listed as executive director of Trump’s transition efforts.

“I look forward to continuing to provide advice and counsel as needed to the incoming Trump administration as they work to make America great again,” Rogers wrote.

According to sources cited in a Weekly Standard report, Rogers’ ouster was a result of concerns within Trump’s transition team regarding the House Intelligence Committee’s 2014 investigation into the 2012 attacks in Benghazi. Rogers’ report found that the Obama administration responded appropriately to the attacks and their aftermath and did not mislead the public. A number of Congressional Republicans turned their ire on both Rogers and the investigation results as a result.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took a particularly strong tack, calling the report “crap.”

Rogers pushed back, saying that critics only “wanted a report to come out to go after the State Department or the White House.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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