Top Middle East adviser fired from National Security Council

A top Middle East adviser to President Trump has been ousted from his job on the National Security Council amid fresh rumors of more White House shake-ups, Fox News has confirmed.

Derek Harvey, who served as special assistant to the president and senior director for the Middle East on the National Security Council, was relieved of his duties Thursday.

The Weekly Standard, which first reported Harvey’s firing, said Harvey was a key player in the administration’s policies toward Iran, Syria and Iraq. Sources told the magazine Harvey was close to White House senior adviser Steve Bannon.

Harvey is a longtime intelligence professional with expertise in the Middle East. He previously worked as director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center for U.S. Central Command from 2009 to 2013, according to his LinkedIn page.


A statement from the National Security Council didn't cite the reasoning for the firing but said the administration is looking to install Harvey into a new position.

“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,” NSC spokesman Michael Anton said in a statement. “The administration is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized.”

Harvey on Thursday confirmed he is leaving the National Security Council and taking a new role, though he didn't say what the position will be. In a statement, Harvey said he is “excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier and Kristin Brown contributed to this report.