Updated on July 27 at 1:44 p.m. ET
A top Middle East official on the National Security Council was removed from his post on Thursday.
Derek Harvey, a former top adviser to David Petraeus who was brought into the administration by former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn to serve as the NSC’s senior director for the Middle East, was informed he was being moved off the NSC by current National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday morning.
“General McMaster greatly appreciates Derek 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,” said NSC spokesman Michael Anton. “The administration is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized.”
The Weekly Standard first reported Harvey’s exit.
Harvey and McMaster “had different visions for what the position requires,” an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity told me.
Harvey was among the most hawkish members of the council on Iran, and is seen as an ally of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has clashed with McMaster. One source close to the White House with knowledge of the situation said that one reason for Harvey’s dismissal had been his perceived closeness to Bannon—although the same source insisted the two were not actually close.