Trump senior aide Dina Powell to resign early next year

Dina Powell (second left) and other US officials join Donald Trump for meetings in Vietnam in November 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump's deputy national security adviser, Dina Powell, plans to resign early next year and return to her home in New York, the White House said on Friday (Dec 8).

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Powell, a key player in US diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, had always planned to stay one year at the Trump White House.

Powell could be one of several administration officials to leave at the one-year mark of Trump's presidency.

Speculation has centred on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who officials say could be replaced by CIA director Joe Pompeo, and top economic adviser Gary Cohn.

Powell has been one of Trump's inner circle and a key aide to national security adviser HR McMaster. She engaged in diplomacy throughout the Middle East with Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"Dina has done a great job for the administration and has been a valued member of the Israeli-Palestinian peace team. She will continue to play a key role in our peace efforts and we will share more details on that in the future," Kushner said in a statement.

Trump's move to have the United States officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been denounced across much of the Arab world.

His team is working on a framework for a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that aides say could be released early next year.

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