Lt Gen HR McMaster on Friday became the second National Security Advisor, after Mike Flynn, to be fired from a tumultuous White House under President Donald Trump. In his typical style of firing his aides, Trump used Twitter to inform the NSA of his replacement, former UN Ambassador John Bolton.
Trump tweeted, “I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H R McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
While the presidency is already under intense pressure over the Mueller investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, the constant firing and the piling up of vacancies on critical posts have made the White House increasingly unstable. According to the CNN, more than one in three Trump staffers have left White House in last one year.
Here is a comprehensive list of people who have been fired or have left the White House so far:
H R McMaster- March 2018
McMaster, a three-star general was one of the few among what Democrats called ‘sane voices’ in the Trump White House in terms of counselling the President, alongside Rex Tillerson and James Mattis. However, Trump had his own reservations with the general, according to a Washington Post report, “The president has complained that McMaster is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant.” McMaster, a highly decorated military man was one of those rare Trump picks that were approved and praised by the Democrats and Republicans alike.
Rex Tillerson- March 2018
The former secretary of state received his pink slip on Twitter, though the White House insisted that he was in the loop on the decision and had been conveyed of the Trump’s decisions in advance. The firing came just days after Tillerson agreed with British PM Theresa May, who accused Russia of poisoning a British spy and his daughter. Trump tweeted, “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” The relation between the two had come under a strain after Tillerson allegedly referred to Trump as “moron”.
Gary Cohn- March 2018
The economic advisor to the President, Cohn left White House after Trump decided to initiate a likely global trade war by increasing tariffs on aluminium and steel imports. Cohn was reportedly against the proposed taxes and left the White House. “Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again. He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Hope Hicks- February 2018
The White House communications director, resigned from his position after she was grilled by the House Intelligence Committee in which she confessed to telling ‘white lies’ on behalf of Donald Trump. Hope was the longest-serving Trump aide and was previously his press secretary during the campaign phase. Like others, Hicks too had no political experience prior to joining the Trump campaign.
Dina Powell- December 2017
While McMaster was shown the gate today, Powell left the White House on surprisingly good terms with the President. Dina was a crucial player in the Trump administration’s middle east policy and the Israeli-Palestine peace team, headed by Jared Kushner. According to the White House, Powel had committed to working with Trump for a year, McMaster had called her “one of the most talented and effective leaders,” with whom he had served.
Tom Price- September 2017
Appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Price resigned after a controversy broke over his use of private jets for travelling on official duties. Accused of taking at least over 25 such flights, the overall expense was estimated to $1 million of taxpayers money. Adding to that, the secretary was not in the good books of President Trump, after his continuous failures at repealing the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
Sebastian Gorka- August 2017
Unhappy with the recent Afghanistan strategy unveiled by the President calling for continuing the deployment of American Troops on Afghan soil, Gorkha leaving the White House said, ” I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.” Gorka had worked on issues related to counterterrorism, Qatar crisis, designing new security strategy for US.
Steve Bannon-August 2017
Known as the architect of the Trump presidency and rewarded with the position of Chief Strategists in the White House, Steve was also the brain behind the widely criticised travel ban and immigration policy which largely targeted Muslim-dominated countries. Bannon drew the President’s ire over his immensely critical statements in the book Fire and Fury, after which Trump said that he felt betrayed by Bannon, and added, “I always liked Steve, but Steve became very ineffective because he was such a lightning rod. And Steve, in the end, I fired Steve.”
Anthony Scaramucci-July 2018
The Wall Street financier served the Trump White House in a capacity of Communications Director for a period spanning less than a week. The decision to let go of Scaramucci came on the backs of an article published in the New Yorker calling Reince Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and expletives directed towards Steve Bannon. “The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position, and he didn’t want to burden Gen. Kelly,” said the White House.
Reince Priebus- July 2017
In usual fashion, the firing of the Chief of Staff came through Twitter, with Trump tweeting, “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!” The tweet was sent from onboard Air Force One.
Sean Spicer- July 2017
Spicer resignation came just hours after Trump introduced Sacrmucci as the Communications Director. A staunch Trump follower, Spicer pushed his agenda in the initial days of Presidency. The rejig in the communications department came at a time when the Republicans failed to push through the Trump proposed healthcare overhaul through the Senate floor. In a tweet trump called Spicer, “a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media – but his future is bright!”
James Comey-May 2017
Former FBI Director James Comey received the news of his firing from a television channel during an ongoing interview. Comey’s firing paved the way for Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel into the Russian collusion investigation. Receiving the pink slip from the Commander-in-Chief, Comey went on record and testified in front of the Congress inferencing that the order came as he refused to Trump’s demand of backing off on an investigation against Michael Flynn over Russian collusion.
Mike Flynn-February 2017
Flynn, the first National Security Advisor of Donald Trump to be fired, was one of his favourites on the campaign trail who opened his rallies. His removal came after revelations that he mislead Vice president Mike Pence about the nature of his meetings with the Russian Ambassador to US Sergey Kislyak. During the meeting, the two allegedly discussed the lifting of sanctions levelled by then President Obama for Russia’s interference in the American presidential elections.