The National Security Council announced Thursday morning that Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates is leaving to join the Energy Department, as the White House shot down rumors that she could be the anonymous White House official who authored a New York Times op-ed and subsequent book criticizing the Trump administration.
Axios had reported Monday that Coates could be assigned to another administration post amid rumblings that Coates was the author. A senior administration official told Fox News the White House does not believe the rumor, and that Coates' transfer has nothing to do with it.
"The White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of Anonymous: A Warning or the related Op-Ed in the New York Times," the official said. "Dr. Coates’ transition to the Department of Energy has been in the works for several weeks and reflects the continued trust and confidence the Administration places in her as she takes on this sensitive role at the Department of Energy, where she will continue working to implement the President’s agenda."
A statement from the NSC also said that Coates' move will help "ensure the continued close alignment of energy policy with national security objectives," and that her new position in the Energy Department will be as a senior adviser to the secretary. Her new assignment is effective Monday, they said.
“We are enthusiastic about adding Dr. Coates to DOE, where her expertise on the Middle East and national security policy will be helpful,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “She will play an important role on our team.”
National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said that he is "sad to lose an important member of our team," but said Coates "will be a big asset to Secretary Brouillette as he executes the president's energy security policy priorities."
“I know who it is,” Trump told reporters gathered at Andrews Air Force Base before departing on a trip to California.
Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.