President Donald Trump claims the White House is not in “chaos,” but his administration has been marred by staff shake-ups, or at least rumors of staff shake ups, almost since Day 1.
The rumors came to ahead two weeks ago with the long-expected resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Several other high-profile White House staffers followed Spicer’s lead — Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned and short-lived White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was fired after just 10 days on the job.
It seemed for a while a few other heads could be on the chopping block too — namely Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has famously fallen out of favor with the president over his failure to investigation Hillary Clinton, and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is mounting the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
With obstruction of justice allegations flying, firing Mueller now would be a bad move for Trump, even Republicans agree. On Thursday afternoon Mueller announced he was enlisting a grand jury in the Russia probe, a sign his investigation is deepening.
Sessions seems safe for now, too. Politico reported that newly minted Chief of Staff John Kelly called up Sessions over the weekend to tell him his job was safe.
But the resignations and firings of recent weeks could just be a sign of shakeups to come. Trump is reportedly considering making changes to his national security team as he’s grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in the war in Afghanistan. Sick of “losing,” as Trump put it, he last month suggested Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford fire the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, NBC reported.
There’s also a conflict brewing between top national security advisers H.R. McMaster and Steve Bannon — with McMaster pushing to increase troops in the region and Bannon urging the opposite, according to The New York Times.
Trump’s solution? Axios reported Trump is considering sending McMaster, a three-star general, to the conflict himself. That’s one way to get rid of unwanted labor.
Only time will tell whose head hits the chopping block next.