Jim DeMint Out at Heritage Foundation

Former Senator Jim DeMint has officially resigned as the president of the Heritage Foundation, the flagship conservative think tank said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. Board chairman Thomas Saunders said in a statement that Heritage had “asked for and received the resignation” after days of infighting that pit DeMint and staffers loyal to him against a faction led by Heritage Action for America, the group’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm, and its chief executive Mike Needham. In his statement, Saunders said the board was concerned over “significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation” under DeMint’s leadership. The former Senate conservative firebrand, who joined Heritage as president in early 2013, will be temporarily replaced by former president Ed Fuelner, who will run the group during its search for a new leader. The infighting roiled the organization after news of DeMint’s likely departure on Friday. Current and former described intra-office confusion and hostility to the Daily Beast leading up to Tuesday’s meeting of Heritage’s board of directors. Multiple sources said staffers loyal to DeMint planned to resign if he was forced out of the organization. In his statement, Saunders said that the press had misrepresented the internal drama. He criticized reporters for publishing “speculation about this story before the facts could be disclosed.” His statement came as Heritage held an all-staff meeting at its Capitol Hill headquarters on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the leadership changes.

—Lachlan Markay