Just days following the departure of former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, spokesman for the National Security Council Michael Anton announced Sunday that he was resigning after multiple sources claim he was pushed out of the White House.
Once source familiar with the situation said that people “weighed in with the president and weighed in with” incoming National Security Adviser Amb. John Bolton regarding Anton.
According to a former senior administration official, after McMaster announced his departure several weeks ago, Anton scrambled to save his job after having taken sides in the White House, Breitbart reported.
“Upon news of McMaster’s departure, Michael Anton began furiously attempting to call Trump loyalists in an effort to switch sides and save his job,” the former official said.
Anton found few allies since aligning himself with McMaster and turning on the president’s America First agenda and against Trump loyalists within the National Security Council.
“Once Flynn was gone, he turned on the president’s agenda and jumped into McMaster’s camp,” the first source said regarding Anton, who came into the White House at the same time as former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn.
Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to the president, said that Anton “made a strategic choice. It was a great disappointment to those of us who supported the president during the campaign.” Gorka noted that Anton resigning “is the right thing to do, given the choice he made. It’s clear he would not have been kept and rightly so.”
President Donald Trump has mandated that Bolton stop the leaks coming from the NSC, and Anton was a suspected of “a number of critical leaks.”
“The president made it clear to Bolton that one of his first goals was to stop the leaking. Anton was Suspect #1,” said the first source.
The former senior administration official said, “I’m not surprised to see Michael Anton departing, given suspicions of his connections to a number of critical leaks, and John Bolton’s mandate from the president to plug those leaks.”
Anton announced his departure Sunday evening, the day before Bolton assumes his new role as National Security Adviser. While he gave no reason for leaving, Anton said he was returning to academia at Hillsdale College as a writer and lecturer.
“I will be forever grateful to President Trump for the opportunity to serve my country and implement his agenda,” he told Politico. “The education I received and the friends I made are — apart from my family and my country — the most cherished things in my life. I am delighted to be returning to my first love and second family.”
The White House released a statement regarding Anton’s departure, which noted that the president had called him on Sunday to thank him for his service, and said, “He is a great guy and we will all miss him.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Anton “one of the smartest and most talented individuals” she had ever worked with and an “amazing chef” and “true friend.”