The acting director at the National Counterterrorism Center and his acting deputy were fired Wednesday evening in what officials worry could be a purge of the organization that’s intended to protect the U.S. from terror attacks, The Washington Post reports. Russell Travers, a well-regarded career professional with over four decades of experience under his belt, was reportedly fired by acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell. Grenell later denied the story on Twitter, calling it “not true.”
According to the Post report, Travers’ deputy, Peter Hall, was also removed and is reportedly returning to the National Security Agency. Travers was put into the position only last year and was reportedly resisting pressure to make personnel cuts at the center, which has over 900 employees. Hours before, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Pentagon special operations and counterterrorism official Christopher Miller to head the NCTC. The center had not spoken publicly on the matter.