June 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Trump names former Log Cabin chief to senior State Dept. post

R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans, Republican Party, gay news, Washington Blade

President Trump has nominated R. Clarke Cooper to senior State Department position. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

President Trump has nominated a former head of Log Cabin Republicans to a senior position at the State Department for political and military affairs.

The White House on Thursday announced on Thursday designated R. Clarke Cooper, who’s gay and led Log Cabin from 2010 to 2012, as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. The announcement also included news for two other unrelated nominees.

The position of assistant of secretary of state for political-military affairs is charged with linking the Defense Department with the State Department in areas such as international security, military operations and defense strategy. Tina Kaidanow, a career foreign service officer, currently holds the position in an acting capacity.

Under Cooper’s tenure at Log Cabin, the organization oversaw a lawsuit challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and assisted with legislative effort to convince Republicans to vote to repeal the military’s gay ban. Under Cooper’s leadership, Log Cabin also endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2012 after he met with Cooper and gay former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe at a Virginia farmhouse.

According to a White House bio, Cooper currently serves as director of intelligence planning for Joint Special Operations Command’s Joint Inter-Agency Task Force in the National Capital Region.

A combat veteran and member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Cooper’s active duty assignments include tours with United States Africa Command, Special Operations Command Africa, Joint Special Operations Task Force Trans-Sahara, and Special Operations Command Central, according to his bio.

Cooper also served in the Bush administration in the State Department as U.S. Alternate Representative to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Delegate to U.N. Budget Committee, senior advisor in Near Eastern Affairs Bureau and advisor at U.S. Embassy-Baghdad from 2005 to 2006.

No where does the White House bio mention Cooper’s tenure at Log Cabin Republicans.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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