Thomas Bossert, Trump’s Senior Advisor on Homeland Security, is forced to leave


Mr. Bossert, a lawyer who served in the George W. Bush administration, made a name for himself as the public face of the White House's response to the hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. His information sessions, lucid and loaded with statistics, were a counterpoint to the chaos that was seen as a constant in other parts of the White House.

But government officials said Mr. Bossert got irritated at that part of his job, preferring to get involved in higher-level policy issues in counterterrorism and cyber warfare. Mr. Bossert, they said, aspired to a broader portfolio, including that of national security adviser, which was not at stake.

"They will not believe this, but this White House seems to work almost the same as every other White House," he said at the Georgia conference. "At the end of the day, the only thing that creates instability or perception is A, coverage and B, rotation." Mr. Bossert spoke extensively about his plans for next year.

Some colleagues considered him aggressive and criticized his handling of cyber security problems for being laborious and overly cautious. Others said they recognized the legal complexities posed by offensive cyber operations, and were determined to carry out a comprehensive policy process before making decisions.

Mr. Bossert was one of the few high-ranking figures in the White House of Mr. Trump who won the bipartisan praise.

"Tom's departure is a loss for this administration," said Jeh Johnson, who was secretary of national security under President Barack Obama. . "I met him during the transition and I was impressed, he seemed a conscientious and balanced public servant."

Mr. Bossert, these officials said, had a tense relationship with Mr. Bolton's predecessor, Lieutenant General HR McMaster, and with Kirstjen Nielsen, who served as Deputy to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, before become the secretary of national security.

Mr. Bolton, an official said, has moved the counterterrorism and cybersecurity portfolios under the National Security Council. Rob Joyce, the cybersecurity coordinator on the council, who was Mr. Bossert's deputy, will take his place on an acting basis.

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Mr. Joyce, a veteran of the National Security Agency, until last year led the Customized Access Operations unit, the country's largest group of hackers, breaking into computer networks of foreign governments.

Mr. Bossert sparked controversy during a recent meeting with members of the families of Americans who were arrested and beheaded in Syria by Islamic State terrorists. He told them he expected the United States to send two men recently captured in Syria, and suspected of imprisoning the Americans, to the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

That bothered some relatives, who recently published an opinion piece in The New York Times calling these suspects to be tried in the United States or The Hague.

Mr. Bolton has not announced yet another important appointment for the National Security Council. But he is making changes on multiple fronts. On Sunday, the director of strategic communications, Michael Anton, resigned under pressure.

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