National Security Adviser John Bolton’s chief of staff Fred Fleitz is leaving after just a few months on the job, CNN confirmed Monday.
“Fred Fleitz is a longtime friend and adviser. He’s been a valuable member of the National Security Council team. I wish him the best with his next endeavor,” Bolton told CNN.
Fleitz, a longtime Bolton associate, joined the Trump administration in May after working for five years at the Center for Security Policy, an Islamaphobic group run by Frank Gaffney. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers CSP a “hate group.” Fleitz joined Gaffney and others from CSP in March 2016 when they went to work on Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign.
According to CSP, Fleitz will take over for Gaffney as the group’s President and CEO in January 2019. Yet he will begin the leadership transition in just a few days, on Nov. 1 — a day after he leaves the White House, an unnamed administration official told CNN. Gaffney, the group said, will become executive chairman.
In 2017, per CNN, Fleitz complained that CSP had only been placed on the SPLC’s list of hate groups “due to our principled stand against the Global Jihad Movement.”