Admiral Mike Rogers reportedly plans to retire from his post as director of the National Security Agency, leaving the agency amid attacks from Donald Trump and battles with Trump’s administration.
The report comes from John Schindler, a security expert and former NSA analyst and columnist for the Observer. Schindler noted that Rogers has told the NSA workforce of his plans to retire.
“BREAKING: Embattled DIRNSA ADM Mike Rogers tells
#NSA workforce of his plans to retire,” Schindler tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
Schindler did not specify when Rogers was expected to retire.
Rogers reportedly clashed with Trump regarding the Russia investigation. Reports claimed that Trump leaned on Rogers to absolve him of any wrongdoing in the ongoing Russia probe. As Newsweek reported in June, an NSA memo documented a call from Trump in which he pressured Rogers to make a public statement saying there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia. Rogers refused.
The memo noted that Trump had continued to question the findings of the American intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the election. The NSA was among the agencies issuing a joint report last year finding that Russian agencies committed cyber attacks in order to help turn the election in Trump’s favor.
Schindler has previously shared reports from the inner workings of the NSA, including a report that Rogers admitted privately that Trump did, in fact, collude with Russia. As Schindler wrote in the Observer, Rogers said in a town hall with NSA officials that they have “evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the Russians.”
“In his town hall talk, Rogers reportedly admitted that President Trump asked him to discredit the FBI and James Comey, which the admiral flatly refused to do. As Rogers explained, he informed the commander in chief, ‘I know you won’t like it, but I have to tell what I have seen’—a probable reference to specific intelligence establishing collusion between the Kremlin and Team Trump.”
In 2017, Rogers spent extensive time testifying before Congress about the Russian election interference. Donald Trump has continued to deny any allegations that he colluded with Russia, often attacking the reports and claiming there is a “deep state” conspiracy against him.
Trump leveled some direct attacks against the NSA, even comparing them to Russian spies in one Twitter rant in February.
A report in March claimed that Trump’s attacks on the NSA were hurting morale across the agency. Reuters claimed that Trump’s attacks were hurting recruitment efforts for the agency.
“The National Security Agency risks a brain-drain of hackers and cyber spies due to a tumultuous reorganization and worries about the acrimonious relationship between the intelligence community and President Donald Trump, according to current and former NSA officials and cybersecurity industry sources,” the report noted.
There may be signs that Trump is mending bridges with the NSA, as the president announced plans to bestow the prestigious National Security Medal on NSA official Rick Ledgett, who had retired last year.
Mike Rogers has not commented publicly on reports that he plans to retire as director of the NSA.