President-elect Donald Trump's transition efforts are virtually frozen Tuesday after the abrupt departure of national security adviser Mike Rogers and an administrative snafu that's holding up collaboration with President Barack Obama's team, The New York Times reported.
Rogers' departure Tuesday was a "Stalinesque purge of people close" to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, NBC News reported.
Christie was demoted last Friday to vice-chair of Trump's transition team, either from or some combination of a lack of loyalty, a personal spat with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, or because that "stupid thug had to go," a quote attributed to Trump.
The former Rep. Rogers, R-Michigan, confirmed his exit, saying he was "proud of the team that we assembled" and "pleased to hand off our work" to the new team being directed by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the Times reported.
The Times also reported that Matthew Freedman, another defense and foreign policy adviser, had also been removed from the team. Freedman was described as a former business associate of Paul Manafort, Trumps previous campaign manager.
Another problem for the transition exists because Pence has yet to sign legally required paperwork that would allow his team to work with Obama's on the transition efforts, according to the Times.
Pence took over for Christie, who had been coordinating with Obama's team for months, but the staff change required paperwork for Pence.
Pence is expected to sign the documents, essentially non-disclosure agreements, sometime Tuesday, the Times reported.
But in the meantime, the efforts are frozen, the Times reported.
"We look forward to completing that work so that we can provide the necessary access to personnel and resources to get the president-elect's team up to speed and deliver on President Obama's directive for a smooth transition," White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine told the Times.
Trump has roughly 4,000 political appointments to make before he takes office in January, the depths of which reportedly surprised Trump.
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