According to an official within the Department of Energy, the Trump transition team has declined to ask the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to temporarily stay in their roles after Trump takes office on January 20th.
The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” [….]
Trump’s team hasn’t asked Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon — both Obama appointees—to stay in their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons. According to our Energy Department source, Trump’s team has yet to nominate anyone to succeed them. Since both positions require Senate confirmation, it could be months before their chairs are filled.
Still, while [the] career civil servants will continue on with their current directives, they’re effectively barred from embarking on anything new. That’s because the legislation authorizing the NNSA specifically prohibits non-NNSA officials from managing NNSA employees — agency staffers are only allowed to take orders from Klotz and Creedon or their (nonexistent) replacements.
According to our source, both officials “have expressed [to the Trump team] that they would likely be willing to stay to facilitate a smooth transition, if asked,” as is the tradition for key officials, and have received no response.
Klotz is not some DLC intellectual, he’s a career Air Force nuclear weapons officer. Creedon is a long-serving civilian nuclear security analyst. An NNSA official has unattributably denied the two political appointees have been “fired”, but effectively confirmed that they have not been asked to stay on.
Trump has also fired the head of the Washington National Guard – appointed by Bush in 2008 – from the moment of his inauguration:
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz will be removed from his post at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day, just after Trump is sworn in but before the Inaugural parade begins.
This is beginning to look horribly like the beginnings of the oprichnina.