The official who oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile has unexpectedly resigned, or as Bloomberg White House correspondent Jenifer Jacobs reports, it appears she was pushed out.
Lisa Gordon-Hagerty has been head of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) since 2018, the first woman to ever serve in that position, which is a semi-autonomous arm of Department of Energy (DOE) charged with overseeing the safety and security of America’s nuclear weapons.
DOE made the announcement late in the day Friday, noting that “Ms. Gordon-Hagerty oversaw the modernization of NNSA’s infrastructure and the strengthening of its world-class workforce” in its statement.
Few details were confirmed by DOE as to the reasons behind the sudden resignation, though as Bloomberg’s Jacobs noted it remains that “some admin officials are unhappy politics are being played with semi-autonomous arm of Energy Dept.”
And The Hill reports further:
While the press release did not provide any details on the reason behind Gordon-Hagerty’s resignation, two senior NNSA officials told Defense News that she had sent her letter of resignation to the White House on Friday following nearly a year of tensions between Gordon-Hagerty’s office and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.
The sources told Defense News that Gordon-Hagerty submitted her letter directly to the White House, rather than to Brouillette, to signal her stark disagreement with the energy secretary over recent budget and oversight conflicts.
Brouillette had earlier in the year attempted to drastically cut funding from NNSA, amid significant disagreements over the role of various arms of the DOE.
In the wake of Gordon-Hagerty’s shock departure Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) issued a scathing letter in her defense.
“A short while ago, I spoke with Administrator Gordon-Hagerty, who is an exemplary public servant and remarkable leader of the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Inhofe said.
“That the Secretary of Energy effectively demanded her resignation 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,” he added.