Speed Reads

Revolving Door

Top Pentagon policy official who expressed concern about Ukraine aid freeze will reportedly step down

The Pentagon's top policy official is reportedly on his way out.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon John Rood will reportedly step down from his post — which Bloomberg notes is one of the most important in the Defense Department — two sources familiar with the matter said. Rood apparently lost support among senior national security leadership, and White House officials reportedly considered him an impediment to the Trump administration's defense policies. He has served in the role since 2018.

In President Trump's impeachment saga, Rood was the official who initially certified to Congress that Ukraine's reforms justified sending Kyiv $250 million in military aid in May 2019. Subsequently, CNN reported Rood exchanged emails with Defense Secretary Mark Esper on July 25 last year (the same day as Trump's infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky) where Rood expressed concern over the White House's plan to halt the aid.

In the email, Rood wrote the freeze "would jeopardize this unique window of opportunity and undermine our defense priorities with a key partner in this strategic competition with Russia."

There's no indication the email is the reason behind Rood's forthcoming resignation. Read more at CNN and Bloomberg.