White House fires a top intelligence adviser

WASHINGTON — One of President Donald Trump’s top intelligence directors is the latest person to be fired in a string of shake-ups at the White House and National Security Council.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick became a focal point for top national security advisers earlier this year when CIA leaders raised concerns about him with Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

A White House statement Wednesday said, “General McMaster appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC’s Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen’s leadership.”

It said McMaster “has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward.”

McMaster moved to replace Cohen-Watnick when the concerns were raised in March, but Cohen-Watnick appealed to Trump’s top advisers, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, who got Trump to intervene to save his job.

Cohen-Watnick was a protege of Trump’s initial national security adviser, Michael Flynn, having worked for him at the Pentagon’s intelligence shop.

As the NSC’s senior director for intelligence programs, Cohen-Watnick was one of about a dozen people in the White House with access to a full range of classified information, including details of U.S. covert programs. His position also gives him the ability to request intelligence products from agencies.

In March, The New York Times identified Cohen-Watnick as one of two White House staffers who helped House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes view secret reports.

Just Posted

Former Red Deer teacher going to trial on child porn charges

Charges were laid in January 2017 after a woman came forward

Red Deer agency reports more than 1,000 lives saved with naloxone

Turning Point distributes 5,855 naloxone kits

WATCH: Ponoka residents enjoy first skate on ice path

A community initiative helped create a skate path for families in Ponoka.

Canada, U.S. lead call for enforcement of sanctions against North Korea

VANCOUVER — Canada and the U.S. led calls Tuesday for the global… Continue reading

Donald Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by an immigrant to Canada

WASHINGTON — When the White House released the results of a test… Continue reading

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month