Sanders said she was "not extending a blanket policy"
Deare's reassignment is not the first time a senior administration official has been removed
A senior National Security Council adviser was reassigned to his old job at the National Defense University, a White House spokeswoman confirmed Sunday, after he criticized the Trump administration’s Latin American policies.
Craig Deare was removed from his role as a senior adviser at the National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere division Friday and “sent back to his original position,” said Sarah Sanders, a White House spokeswoman. Deare had been assigned to the NSC by the Trump administration.
Deare reportedly knocked the Trump administration’s handling of Latin American policies during a speech at The Wilson Center Thursday in Washington. He also criticized overall White House dysfunction, Politico reported based on a source.
CNN could not independently confirm the account, and Deare did not respond to a request for comment.
Fielding questions about Deare’s reassignment, Sanders said that people who don’t agree with President Donald Trump should not have a job in his White House.
“I don’t think that any person that is there in order to carry out the President’s agenda should be against the President’s agenda,” Sanders said during a briefing with reporters in West Palm Beach, Florida. “It seems pretty silly that you would have someone who is not supportive of what you are trying to accomplish there to carry out that very thing.”
Sanders said she was “not extending a blanket policy here” but later added: “If you don’t support the President’s agenda then you shouldn’t have a job in the White House.”
Deare’s reassignment returns him to the National Defense University, an appointed position he’s held since January 2001.
Just a few days before he reportedly was reassigned, Deare was the subject of a scathing op-ed in The Miami Herald written by a former colleague of his who called for him to be fired from the NSC.
Martin Andersen, who worked with Deare at the National Defense University, made several personal allegations that he said revealed a “checkered record of support for and involvement with some of the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious human-rights abusers.”
“The National Security Council can do better,” Andersen wrote.
This is not the first time a senior administration official has been removed from their post because of comments about Trump.
Republican consultant Shermichael Singleton, a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was fired last week for an op-ed he wrote before the election that criticized then-candidate Trump, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.
The op-ed, which was published in October, said Trump was leading to low morale within the Republican Party. Singleton, according to a source, was told he was dismissed because of the op-ed.
“We allowed that hostile takeover to happen on our watch,” he wrote. “This individual recognized a moment of great disparity in the Republican base and, like cancer, attacked and spread, consuming everything in his path.”
However, some of Trump’s closest aides have also criticized him in the past.
Kellyanne Conway, now a top White House official, once said Trump took advantage of “the little guy” to build his real estate empire.
“He says he’s for the little guy but he’s actually built a lot of his business on the backs of the little guy,” she said on CNN in February 2016 when she ran a super PAC looking to help Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.
Conway, in April, also told CNN that Trump should release his tax returns.
“It’s completely transparent,” Conway said about an alliance between Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. “Donald Trump’s tax returns aren’t, I would like to see those be transparent.”
Sean Spicer, now Trump’s press secretary, once knocked the then-presidential candidate for saying that Sen. John McCain, who was held as a POW for six years in Vietnam, was not a war hero because he was caught.
“He is a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said during a town hall. “I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
Spicer, then the communications director for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement that McCain “is an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period.”
“There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably,” Spicer added.
CNN’s Theodore Schleifer, Rene Marsh and Eugene Scott contributed to this report.