Shake-up in Trump administration: Big White House dismissals and resignations of 2018

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Nov 08, 2018, 09.11 PM (IST)

Just a day after US midterm polls, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired from the Trump administration. US President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted out announcing the same, thanking Sessions for his service. Sessions is the latest to hop on the bandwagon of this year's White House exits.

Sessions' exit closely followed former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley's resignation who put down her papers in October. Trump said that she had done a "fantastic job" and would leave at the end of the year.

"She told me probably six months ago," Trump told reporters, adding that she told him that "I want to take a little time off."

"Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has been very special to me. She has done an incredible job. She is a fantastic person, very importantly, but she also is somebody who gets it. She has been at the United Nations from the beginning with us, right from the beginning, and worked with us on the campaign," the US president said.

Both these exits have joined over two dozens more US diplomats who called it quits at the White House this year, or were forced out. 

×

Besides Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing in March, the Trump administration asked over a dozen more diplomats to leave this year or had them replaced. Some of the names on the list include FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Nadia Schadlow, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert and National Security Adviser HR McMaster.

Scores of top US officials resigned in 2018, some of the prominent names included White House Counsel Donald McGahn, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin, White House Special Counsel Ty Cobb, and Trump's lead lawyer John Dowd, among a few others.

Trump has often outsourced the job of booting employees to his chief of staff - and then announced the departures via Twitter, news agency Reuters reported. 

When Trump decided to fire FBI chief James Comey, the White House released a letter from the president to Comey on May 9, 2017 explaining that he was being dismissed on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On Kelly's first day on the job as chief of staff on July 31, 2017, Trump directed him to fire Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who had been in the job for a mere 10 days.

According to a Reuters report, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was travelling in Africa when he heard by phone from Kelly that the axe was coming, and so cut his trip short. Trump made the firing official via an early morning Twitter post a few days later on March 13, 2018, and then followed up with a phone call to Tillerson that afternoon. The decision came after months of tension between the two men and reports Tillerson had privately called Trump a "moron."

"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!," Trump tweeted out on March 13. 

×

US media reported the same stating that Tillerson learnt about his dismissal only after he saw Trump's tweet. 

President Donald Trump's administration has been marred by a series of top officials' exits. With Sessions' leaving right after the midterms, the shake-up at the Department of Justice has raised concerns about the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats captured the House in the midterms and have their agenda set on achieving better healthcare infrastructure and pronouncing more trouble for the US President, probably eyeing his impeachment
 

Story highlights

Besides Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing in March, the Trump administration asked over a dozen more diplomats to leave this year or had them replaced.