Hicks, who was under fire for her relationship with departed administration official Rob Porter, recently underwent a grueling, multi-hour interview with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. Now she’s simply the latest in a very long series of former staff, advisors and appointees to President Donald Trump to leave or be fired.
And many more are probably on the way – so many that it’s hard to know who will leave first.
Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner was once king of the hill when it came to having Trump’s ear. But Kushner, an unpaid senior advisor with a wide-ranging, mostly ethereal list of responsibilities, is very close to being ousted after a revocation of his security clearance and a revelation that he may well have been compromised by foreign governments.
Now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is pushing for Kushner to be removed from the White House, claiming he never should have been part of the administration to begin with. “What I’m worried about right now at the White House is the revolving door — it’s spinning like a top,” Pelosi told reporters, according to CNN.
She couldn’t be more right, either. Although the Trump administration denies the rumors, NBC reports that five different sources have informed them that national security adviser H.R. McMaster will leave the White House very soon — potentially in April.
If that prediction holds true, McMaster would be the second national security advisor to depart in the roughly 15 months that the president will have held office. The last, Michael Flynn, resigned in disgrace. Flynn has been found lying to the Senate about his relationship with Russia, and he’s still under investigation by Mueller.
McMaster has allegedly angered President Trump by agreeing that Russia intervened in the 2016 election and not defending the administration. If upsetting the president is a firing offense, well then, it looks like Attorney General Jeff Sessions should probably look for a new job, too.
Sessions, like McMaster, has frustrated President Trump over actions around the Russia investigation. Recently, the attorney general requested that the inspector general investigate claims of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” the president tweeted in an attempt to belittle Sessions.
But unlike most of the president’s yes men, Sessions refused to back down. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor,” he responded. Now the question is — how long will he be attorney general?
Sessions, McMaster and Kushner are just the most obvious administration members on the edge of being shown the White House door. Others may very well decide to leave on their own.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly recently mentioned in a panel how much he misses his old job at the Department of Homeland Security. He jokingly claimed “God punished me” and stated that he must have done something wrong to deserve his current position. While his comments were taken in fun, there’s little doubt that the new position is a brutal one.
And now that the president has announced new steel tariffs — a decision that no one in his administration saw coming — it seems likely that his national economic advisor Gary Cohn could be leaving the Trump team, too.
“Our colleagues Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman have reported that Mr. Cohn threatened to resign if the president followed through on the tariff threat. (That cost him standing with Mr. Trump, though he seemed to regain much of his political capital, particularly after the passage of the tax overhaul.),” the New York Times reports. “Mr. Landler and Ms. Haberman point out that Mr. Cohn is still waiting to see if Mr. Trump actually rolls out the tariffs — a fair question, given how quickly his boss appears to switch policy positions.”
President Donald Trump already holds the record for the highest turnover of any of the last five presidents. If this rate keeps up, that’s a record he well may hold for decades to come.