President Donald Trump is preparing to fire National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to senior officials that spoke with the Washington Post. On Thursday evening, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement denying that the President wants McMaster gone.
Despite claims to the contrary from the White House, however, the Washington Post confirmed Trump's decision after speaking with five senior officials who confirmed that McMaster is, in fact, getting the boot.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has also confirmed that Trump wants to see McMaster go, a sentiment which Kelly himself shares.
Trump reportedly wants to replace McMaster with former UN ambassador John Bolton, a war super-hawk who has expressed openly his desire to bomb North Korea.
Another potential successor to McMaster is National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg.
Kellogg travels with Trump on many domestic trips, in part because the president likes his company and thinks he is fun. Bolton has met with Trump several times and often agrees with the president’s instincts. Trump also thinks Bolton, who regularly praises the president on Fox News Channel, is good on television.
McMaster, should he find himself unemployed at the pleasure of the president, would be the latest in a litany of senior officials that Trump has ousted.
On Monday, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with a tweet, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. It is rumored that Kelly may also be on the chopping block.
“There will always be change,” the president told reporters. “And I think you want to see change. I want to also see different ideas.”
A growing number of Trump cabinet member are embroiled in scandals ranging from bilking taxpayers for unnecessary luxuries to being demonstrably incompetent—HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are under fire for spending over $31,000 and $139,000 of taxpayer money on office furniture and doors (yes, doors)—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has spent $1 million of taxpayer money on military flights during his 14 months in office—EPA Chief Scott Pruitt for using public funds for expensive military flights—Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her disastrous 60 Minutes interview last week—and Army Secretary David Shulkin, who has come under fire for mismanagement of funds and for having a chaotic environment at the highest levels of his agency.
The president has defended what under any normal circumstances would be viewed as a White House with no senses of direction or organization. The airs of uncertainty and mania filling the West Wing are compounded as tensions with Russia continue to escalate, and with Trump agreeing to meet with North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un. How Trump plans on navigating multiple, simultaneous international crises without any certainty among his staff, remains to be seen.
“I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view,” Trump said last week, rapping his fists toward one another to simulate a clash. “I like watching it, I like seeing it, and I think it’s the best way to go.”
Trump fired his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, a mere 17 days after hiring him. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI for failing to properly disclose contacts with and financial payments from Russian officials.
UPDATE: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly may resign as soon as today, following reports that the president is tired of Kelly telling him "no."
"Kelly, amid a number of reports of White House chaos and staff shake ups, reportedly tells the president “no” too often for Trump’s liking. The commander-in-chief also took umbrage with Kelly’s “stalling” on recent tariffs on steel and aluminum, The New York Times reported Thursday."