The Trump administration abruptly dumped the leaders of three agencies that oversee the nuclear weapons stockpile, electricity and natural gas regulation, and overseas aid during the past two days, drawing a rebuke from a prominent Republican senator for one of the decisions.
The sudden departures included:
- Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the first woman to oversee the agency in charge of the nuclear stockpile. She was required to resign on Friday.
- Bonnie Glick, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. She was replaced by acting Administrator John Barsa, who had run out of time for his more senior role under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
- Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He was replaced as chairman, though he will remain at FERC, an independent agency, as a commissioner.
The firings were overshadowed by the prolonged drama of the presidential election.
The White House declined comment on the firings and declined to say whether there would be more in the wake of the election.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement criticizing Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who he said "effectively demanded" the resignation of Gordon-Hagerty. (The National Nuclear Security Administration is a semi-autonomous agency that is part of the Energy Department.)
Inhofe called Gordon-Hagerty "an exemplary public servant and remarkable leader" and said Brouillette's decision "during this time of uncertainty demonstrates he doesn't know what he's doing in national security matters and shows a complete lack of respect for the semi-autonomous nature of NNSA."