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Kurt Volker resigns as head of ASU's McCain Institute

His resignation comes after days of controversy surrounding his relationship with Trump and Ukraine

breaking news graphic

Graphic published on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018.

McCain Institute Executive Director Kurt Volker resigned from his position with the University Monday morning after conflicting reports surfaced Friday afternoon about his position at ASU. 

ASU President Michael Crow appointed Nicholas Rasmussen as the acting executive director of the institute, according to a University statement, and Volker will remain on paid administrative leave from his duties at the University until further notice.

"The University is grateful for his service guiding this important university initiative," reads the statement from ASU.

Rasmussen currently serves as the senior director for national security and counterterrorism programs at the institute and previously worked as the director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center.  

Volker's resignation comes after his name was mentioned in the whistleblower complaint that surfaced in the last two weeks, sparking an impeachment inquiry by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

"Today I informed ASU President Crow and Mrs. McCain that I believe the recent media focus on my work as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations risks becoming a distraction from the accomplishments and continued growth of the institute," Volker wrote in a statement outlining his reasons for resigning that was released by the McCain Institute Monday morning.

Volker’s potential resignation was first reported on Friday, but University sources confirmed he would not be stepping down from his position. 

Various members of the McCain Institute have expressed their support for Volker over the past week, but acknowledged the existence of issues that would need to be addressed going forward.

Volker's resignation from the McCain Institute comes just after he stepped down from his role as special envoy for Ukraine and testified before three House Committees on Thursday

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 10:17 a.m. to fix a typo in the second paragraph and to clarify the timing of the whistleblower complaint. This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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