The Real Reasons Donald Trump Got Rid of These Powerful Employees So Far in His Presidency
After electing a man best known for saying “You’re fired!” on TV, the revolving door at Donald Trump’s White House should come as no surprise. That said, a shockingly high number of people have fled the administration — or gotten forced out of it. Here’s a complete list of all of the White House employees and government officials who have been fired or resigned, starting with the most recent.
H.R. McMaster: March 22, 2018
Trump named John R. Bolton, a hard-nosed former American ambassador to the United Nations, as his third national security adviser to replace Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, The New York Times reports. Former Army officer McMaster got tapped last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, but he and Trump never got friendly.
As has become his habit, Trump announced the staffing change on Twitter. McMaster said his departure had been under discussion for weeks and they came to the decision mutually. Trump and the national security adviser often clashed over policy, especially when it came to Russia, Afghanistan, and North Korea. Bolton, on the other hand, favors the same kind of pre-emptive strikes Trump does, especially when it comes to Iran and North Korea. Trump previously held reservations about him because the president dislikes Bolton’s mustache. (Yes, really).
Next: This official got pushed out just days before retirement.
Andrew McCabe: March 16, 2018
Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe became the latest casualty of the Trump administration, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an appeal that would have let him retire just a few days later. According to The New York Times, McCabe believes his firing intended to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
McCabe ranks among the first to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, and could serve as a witness to such. Trump has taunted McCabe both publicly and privately, and GOP allies consider him the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the presidency.
Next: The following official also clashed with Trump repeatedly.
Rex Tillerson: March 13, 2018
Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with former CIA director Mike Pompeo after one final disagreement. The president and Tillerson repeatedly clashed on a number of important policy issues, according to The New York Times. “We were not really thinking the same,” Trump said.
He announced the decision on Twitter, catching even his closest advisers off guard. Just the day before, a White House spokesman denied any split between Tillerson and his boss. The two had made conflicting comments on Russian responsibility for a poison attack in Britain. You can guess which side Trump was on.
Next: The following official resigned after sexual misconduct allegations.
David Sorensen: Feb. 9, 2018
White House speech writer David Sorensen quit after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, accused him of emotional and physical abuse. According to The Washington Post, Corbett said that during their two-year marriage, Sorensen “ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall, and grasped her menacingly by her hair.” She said the incident left her fearing for her life.
Sorenson denied the allegations and said Corbett actually abused him. “In fact, I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her,” Sorenson told the Post. He added, “This incident is an opportunity to highlight the grossly under-reported and unacknowledged issue of female-on-male domestic violence.”
Next: Allegations against this official also cost him his job.
Rob Porter: Feb. 7, 2018
White House staffer Rob Porter resigned after both of his ex-wives accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them during their marriages. Colbie Holderness, who was married to Porter for five years, provided photos to the Daily Mail of black eyes she said the staff secretary gave her.
Jennifer Willoughby provided a copy of a 2010 protective order she filed against Porter after he allegedly violated a separation agreement and refused to leave their home. He denied the allegations in a statement, but many wondered how he obtained even partial security clearance in the first place.
Next: This man’s wife may have cast a shadow on his position.
Andrew McCabe: Jan. 30, 2018
FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe stepped down after ongoing pressure from Trump and a pending examination. According to The New York Times, FBI Director Christopher Wray raised concerns about an upcoming report examining McCabe’s and other senior officials’ actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.
McCabe first drew criticism because his wife, Jill McCabe, ran for a state Senate seat in Virginia as a Democrat. Her campaign received donations from a friend of the Clintons. She lost, and McCabe did not become deputy director until after the campaign. While records show that he disclosed her candidacy and sought ethics advice, some GOP members still thought he should have recused himself.
Next: The amount of contact this person had with the president came under scrutiny.
Omarosa Manigault: Jan. 20, 2018
The director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault announced her resignation on Dec. 13. the director of communications for the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, had her official last day on January 20. She departed on Jan. 20. Manigault appeared on Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice” and her job at the White House seemed low-profile, at best. She now airs her political opinion on “Celebrity Big Brother.”
Principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said that the White House does not take her views very seriously, according to Politico. “Omarosa was fired three times on ‘The Apprentice,’ and this was the fourth time we let her go,” Shah said. “She had limited contact with the president while here. She has no contact now.”
Next: Using private plane cost this man his position, even after many years.
Tom Price: Sept. 29, 2017
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned following questions about his use of private flights over commercial travel. In a series of stories disclosed to Politico, it came out that Price spent more than $300,000 of taxpayer money on private planes. He later pledged to repay, well, some of it.
In his resignation letter, Price wrote that he “40 forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first. I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.”
Next: This “terrorism expert” did not make it long.
Sebastian Gorka: Aug. 25, 2017
The former Breitbart News staffer and Bannon ally served as a deputy assistant to Trump. He resigned — or was asked to leave — after learning his security clearance got revoked.
In a resignation letter leaked to The Federalist, Gorka said, “It is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House. As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”
Next: This rumpled, controversial figure went to battle with Trump many times.
Steve Bannon: Aug. 18, 2017
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon got ousted from his position as Trump’s chief strategist on Aug. 18. Some conjecture remains as to whether Bannon’s departure came at the behest of chief of staff John Kelly, or elsewhere. We do know he clashed continually with more moderate staffers.
He originally went back to running Breitbart, his right-wing media organization. In January, however, he stepped down from that post too, according to The New York Times.
Next: This staffer held it down for less than two weeks.
Anthony Scaramucci: July 31, 2017
Former Wall Street tycoon Anthony Scaramucci served as communications director for just 11 days, a new record. The quick-tempered financier called then-chief of staff Reince Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and railed against “leakers” during his short time at the White House. As entertaining as “the mooch” became, he did not make a great mouthpiece for the office.
Next: This next staffing change happened — where else? — on Twitter.
Reince Priebus: July 27, 2017
Trump announced in a tweet on July 28 that Gen. John F. Kelly would replace Priebus as chief of staff. Speculation already swirled about Priebus’ imminent departure, but the tweet made it official.
“I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!” Trump tweeted. House Speaker Paul Ryan also said Priebus “left it all out on the field” and “done it all with class.” That, if nothing else, set him apart.
Next: He denied Dippin’ Dots their due as the future’s ice cream, and look what happened.
Sean Spicer: July 21, 2017
Perhaps best known as the man Melissa McCarthy played on Saturday Night Live, former press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on July 21. His tenure ran rife with missteps, including vastly exaggerating Trump’s inauguration crowd size. After the fact, he said he did not regret the job, but parts of how he did it.
“Did I make mistakes? Thank you for taking me down memory lane — absolutely,” he admitted. “Do I hope I grow as a person, as a friend, as a stranger, to do better? Absolutely.” He added, “I regret things that I did that brought embarrassment to myself, my family.”
Next: This man reportedly tangled with Trump over his business dealings.
Walter Shaub: July 6, 2017
Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub clashed repeatedly with Trump’s administration. He announced his resignation on July 6, even though he intended to step down in January 2018.
In his resignation letter, he wrote, “The great privilege and honor of my career has been to lead OGE’s staff and the community of ethics officials in the federal executive branch. They are committed to protecting the principle that public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.” Sound like anyone you know?
Next: The following official resigned for personal reasons amid gathering tension.
Mike Dubke: May 30, 2017
As the investigation into Russian collusion gathered steam and tempers rose at the White House, former Communications Director Mike Dubke resigned. According to CNN, he gave a pat answer when asked why he left.
He called it his “distinct pleasure to work side-by-side, day-by-day, with the staff of the communications and press departments. This White House is filled with some of the finest and hardest working men and women in the American government.” Friends said his job became “impossible,” and that he wanted to pursue projects where his talents had actual value.
Next: This one rocked the country and kicked off an ongoing investigation.
James Comey: May 9, 2017
Trump shocked the nation when he announced the firing of FBI director James Comey three-and-a-half years into a 10-year term. Originally, the president cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as reason for his dismissal.
Later though, he admitted the bureau’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia did influence his decision. That kicked off an investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey. The results of that probe continue, and likely will for some time.
Next: A massive failure caused this staffer to lose her position.
Katie Walsh: March 30, 2017
Former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh got forced out of her position on March 30, after the House first failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She left the White House to work at the pro-Trump America First Policies, which some insiders blamed for failing to push Trump’s initiative through. The White House decided, evidently with Walsh’s blessing, that she could do more good outside than inside. Given everything that has happened since, she likely stands by that call.
Next: This man quit less than a month into the job.
Michael Flynn: Feb. 13, 2017
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn quit on Feb. 13, after only 24 days at the White House. Flynn bowed out of his post after The Washington Post reported he spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about lifting sanctions. He also lied to Vice President Mike Pence about it.
In his resignation letter, Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president.”
Next: A controversial order led to this woman’s dismissal.
Sally Yates: Jan. 30, 2017
Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Yates after she instructed lawyers in the justice department not to uphold his “Muslim travel ban.” The executive order barred entry from seven Muslim-majority countries, and set off a firestorm around the country.
“My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts,” she said in a letter. “In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
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