Andrew Peek, head of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, appears to be out after just three months on the job.
Considered President Trump’s top Russia expert, Axios reported that Peek was placed on administrative leave, pending a security investigation.
Bloomberg News reported that Peek was escorted from the White House grounds on Friday
The White House and National Security Council officials declined to comment, as did Peek.
NEW: The top Russia expert on Trump’s National Security Council, Andrew Peek, has left his post, just a couple months in, sources tell me, @nwadhams and @justinsink.
That’s the Fiona Hill, Tim Morrison, Russia/Ukraine job.
Peek was escorted from WH on Friday. Story out soon.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 19, 2020
Peek was expected to accompany President Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, where the president will be meeting with world leaders, Axios noted.
The development comes days after a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official pleaded guilty to leaking highly sensitive information to a reporter, but the media has displayed little intellectual curiosity over why Peek is out.
Instead, the emphasis has been on the turnover at the position within the Trump administration.
Bloomberg said Peek “has left his post,” and that narrative was readily picked up by other media outlets.
Peek replaced Tim Morrison — brought in by former national security adviser John Bolton — who left after testifying in the House Democrats impeachment inquiry.
Morrison’s predecessor, Fiona Hill, who also testified, resigned her position on July 19, 2019.
More on Peek from his State Department biography:
Andrew L. Peek is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department, he was a Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas while finishing his Ph.D. in international relations under Dr. Eliot Cohen at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. […]
Before entering academia, Peek served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer. General David Petraeus requested him personally for his Commanders’ Initiatives Group in Afghanistan, where he served as the strategic advisor on intelligence and special operations issues for General John Allen, Petraeus’s successor.
Peek was seen as a Trump loyalist, but that didn’t stop some on social media from seeing him as a potential “rat.” One thing is certain, with few facts to go on, there was plenty of confusion and even more speculation.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses from social media:
— JM TX MAGA?? (@JMuser16) January 19, 2020
Good! Keep draining the swamp @POTUS
Who is writing the replies for all the snowflakes commenting here? They really need to do better! They told them all to say the same thing. LOL
— Emily USA (@USAEmily1) January 19, 2020
I’m confused by this story. Was he escorted out for being a Russian spy or for not being a Russian spy?
— Robert C. Seacord (@RCS) January 19, 2020
“Left his post”? Did you mean, Thrown Out?
When someone leaves their post they don’t need to be escorted out of the White House!
— Margery (@margery) January 19, 2020
Think he was involved in information on #Yovanovitch ?
— Angel Lusso-Harris (@LussoAngel) January 19, 2020
Hope he wasn’t leaking the location of the ambassador of Ukraine.
— whos Danny Ford (@Jumbo_bike) January 18, 2020
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