Top Middle East expert leaves White House post

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Published: July 28, 2017 1:51:24 AM

The White House today announced the departure of a contentious top Middle East advisor, Derek Harvey, from Donald Trump's National Security Council staff.

White House, Donald Trump, National Security Council staff, Middle East expertThe White House today announced the departure of a contentious top Middle East advisor, Derek Harvey, from Donald Trump’s National Security Council staff.(Image: IE)

The White House today announced the departure of a contentious top Middle East advisor, Derek Harvey, from Donald Trump’s National Security Council staff.  “The administration is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized,” the White House said in a statement announcing the departure.  Harvey was seen as one of the few allies of ousted national security advisor Michael Flynn, who remained in the White House.  In recent months he had complained in private about his waning influence as he wrestled with competing US interests in Syria and elsewhere.

Hawkish on Iran — thanks to experience countering Shia militias in Iraq — he also viewed the fight against the Islamic State as a key US priority.  In a statement National Security Advisor General HR McMaster was said to “greatly” appreciate “Harvey’s service to his country as a career Army officer, where he served his country bravely in the field and played a crucial role in the successful surge in Iraq, and also for his service on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration.”

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