Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates is leaving the National Security Council and going to the Energy Department, according to a statement released by the council on Thursday.
The reassignment comes as rumors have been circulating that Coates was the anonymous administration official who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in 2018 and published a book last November titled: “A Warning” by Anonymous.
A senior administration official rejected those rumors Thursday and said that Coates’ move has been in the works for some time.
“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 senior 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,” the official added.
The announcement in September that Matt Pottinger had also been elevated to the position of deputy national security adviser added to uncertainty over Coates’ future.
“She has served the President loyally since the earliest days of the Administration and has played a valued role in the President’s Middle East policy,” national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien said.
Last Thursday, O’Brien told CNN that Coates was not going anywhere.
“No. Victoria Coates is my deputy. She’s running our Middle East Bureau and she’s here at the NSC and she is not one of those,” O’Brien said.