You’re fired! The casualties of the Trump administration

President Donald Trump's White House has become a revolving door for staff since he was sworn in.

The fired and resigned members of the Trump administration.

The fired and resigned members of the Trump administration. Source: SBS News

During his time in the Oval Office, US President Donald Trump has fired some of his most notable senior officials such as former FBI director James Comey.

He has watched trusted staff members such as ex-press secretary Sean Spicer, former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman and long-time adviser Hope Hicks leave the administration.

Here is the list of who has been sacked and who has walked out:

Paul Ryan – House Speaker


House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he will not seek re-election for another term in Congress, during a news conference  on April 11, 2018.
Source: Getty

The most powerful Republican in the US Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan has confirmed he will not seek re-election in November.

Ryan’s role is second in line to the presidency, he will finish up in January 2019.

"I took it reluctantly, but I have given this job everything that I have, and I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility,” Ryan said of the role.

He said his decision to retire was driven by a desire to spend more time with his family and was not prompted by the turmoil in the White House.

Tom Bossert – Homeland Security Adviser


White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert speaks about the Wannacry virus as he announces that the US believes North Korea was behind the cyber attack.
Source: Getty

An administration official said Tom Bossert, a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush, had left at the request of Donald Trump's new national security adviser John Bolton.

Bossert oversaw the administration's work on cybersecurity issues and was considered a key voice for responding more aggressively to destructive cyber-attacks launched by hostile adversaries, including Russia, Iran and North Korea.

He helped guide the administration's decisions to blame and impose costs on each of those countries in an effort to create a more forceful cyber deterrence strategy.

Bossert was generally well respected by cybersecurity experts, who viewed him as a knowledgeable voice in the room.

David Shulkin - Veteran's Affairs Secretary


Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin testifies on FY2019 and FY2020 budgets for veterans programs before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Source: AAP

Mr Shulkin was predicted to be sacked from his position as veteran affairs secretary after he was accused of spending taxpayers money on a nine-day trip in Europe with his wife.

The veteran affairs secretary was one of the few senior officials in Trump's administration that also served under former president Barack Obama.

The 58-year-old was fired on 29 March and Mr Trump tipped Admiral Ronny Jackson to take over as new secretary of veteran affairs.

Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster - National Security Adviser


US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
Source: AAP

General H.R. McMaster resigned on 23 March after he was hired in 2017 to stabilise a turbulent foreign policy operation.

He was a widely respected military strategist and helped the US during the Persian Gulf war and the second Iraq war.

Mr Trump said John Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the UN, would replace General McMaster.

Rex Tillerson - Secretary of State


President Trump removed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on 13 March and replaced him with the CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Mr Trump claimed he made the decision "by myself".

"I actually got along great with Rex, but really, it was a different mindset," Mr Trump said in the White House.

Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson had repeatedly clashed with the US secretary of state reportedly referring to the president in private as a "moron".

Hope Hicks – White House Communications Director


Another shock resignation, Hope Hicks resigned only six months after taking the job permanently. Known by White House officials as the “Trump Whisperer,” she was considered one of President Trump’s longest-serving aides.

Ms Hicks became embroiled in the Rob Porter scandal as his girlfriend, and for her role as communications director.

She admitted during her House Intelligence Committee testimony that she had told “white lies” for President Trump.

Ms Hicks was the fifth person to take on the communications director role for Trump. She had zero political experience before she was hired for his campaign. 

Gary Cohn – Director of National Economic Council


The latest casualty to resign, Gary Cohn is said to have quit after losing a fight within the White House over plans to impose steel and aluminium tariffs.

White House officials have confirmed the dispute over President Donald Trump’s tariffs did contribute to the top economic adviser’s resignation, as well as several other issues.

Mr Cohn served in the role for little more than a year, proving influential in the Trump administration’s decisions not to label China a currency manipulator and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He was also one of the main drivers of the tax overhaul package passed by Congress late last year, which is considered to be Mr Trump’s first major legislative victory.

Mr Cohn’s relationship with President Trump started to crumble when they disagreed over the response to the Charlottesville violence. 

Rob Porter – White House Staff Secretary


Rob Porter was almost a constant fixture at President Trump’s side before he resigned over allegations of domestic abuse.

Mr Porter and the White House denied the allegations from his ex-wives Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, who documented physical and psychological abuse.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended Porter in a statement.

"Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honour and I can't say enough good things about him," Kelly said. "He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him."

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald – Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Director


The head of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resigned from her post after it was revealed she had purchased stock in Japan Tobacco while in the job.

One of the goals of the CDC was to prevent smoking.

“You don’t buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC,” Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s former chief ethics officer told Politico at the time.

“It’s ridiculous; it gives a terrible appearance.”

Andrew McCabe – FBI Deputy Director


The FBI deputy director was criticized by President Trump for alleged bias against him. Sources said Mr McCabe felt pressure to leave the bureau or face demotion.

His resignation was announced in January 2018 where it was announced he would retire on March 18.

Mr McCabe is a 20-year veteran of the FBI who was involved in the Clinton email probe.

He was repeatedly accused of pro-Clinton bias by Republicans and the White House. During his interview for the top job after James Comey was fired, it is claimed Mr McCabe was asked by the president to tell him who he voted for in the 2016 election.

Mr McCabe also butted heads with President Trump on the day Mr Comey was fired. Mr Trump demanded Mr McCabe explain why Mr Comey had been allowed to fly on an FBI plane after he was dismissed. Sources claim Mr McCabe said he was not asked to authorize the flight but if he were he would have approved it.

During the same call, it is claimed that Mr Trump teased Mr McCabe’s wife for a failed campaign for state office in Virginia in 2015 – suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser. 

Omarosa Manigault Newman – Director of Communications for White House Office of Public Liaison


Omarosa Manigault Newman was one of Donald Trump’s most prominent African American supporters and a former contestant on his reality TV show The Apprentice – where she was portrayed as a villain.

Ms Manigault Newman’s post in the White House ended a year after Mr Trump took oath in office. Prior to this, she had worked as a staffer for former Vice President Al Gore.

After her resignation from the White House, she said she was “upset” with some things she had seen there, and indicated those issues were race related. It is claimed she butted heads with Mr Trump over his response to the Charlottesville violence when a white supremacist allegedly drove through a crowd of protesters. 

Tom Price – Secretary of Human and Health Services


Tom Price resigned after it was revealed he spent more than $US1m of taxpayers’ money on travel.

“I have spent 40 years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first,” he wrote at the time.

“I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from those important objectives."

President Trump said Mr Price was “a very fine man” but he was not happy about the expenses. 

Sebastian Gorka – Deputy Assistant to the President


Offering a blunt resignation letter, Sebastian Gorka expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of the Trump administration.

His letter expressed his unhappiness with the direction foreign policy had taken.

'[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA (Make America Great Again) promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House,” he wrote.

Closely allied with Steve Bannon, Mr Gorka focused mostly on national security policy during his time at the White House.

He also came under for having alleged ties to a Nazi organization, a claim he vehemently denies. 

Steve Bannon – Chief Strategist


The president’s chief strategist and another controversial adviser appointment worked with the administration for seven-months before “mutually agreeing” he would part ways with the White House.

The man known as “Trump’s Brain” and the voice behind his “nationalist” ideology sparked Donald Trump’s fury when he was quoted contradicting him on North Korea and asserting that he was able to make personnel changes at the State Department.

Mr Bannon butted heads with other advisers, notably feuding with President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"Steve was never a team player," a senior administration official said.

Anthony Scaramucci  – Communications Director


Donald Trump’s most controversial hire, hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci ruffled plenty of feathers in his short time in the White House. The communications director was removed from his post after just 10 days after Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus shared concerns about hiring him in the first place.

The White House said Mr Scaramucci was leaving to free up Chief of Staff John Kelly to be able to build his own team. "We wish him all the best,” a statement at the time read.

Hours after the news President Trump tweeted: "A great day at the White House".

Prior to his hire, Mr Scaramucci had criticised Trump as a “hack politician” something he later went on to say was one of his “biggest mistakes”. 

Reince Priebus – White House Chief of Staff


President Trump announced Reince Priebus was leaving the Chief of Staff role on Twitter after he became convinced he was not strong enough to run the White House operation, according to officials. Mr Priebus was replaced with Marine General John F. Kelly.

“The president has a right to change directions,” Mr Priebus said at the time.

Like Sean Spicer, Mr Priebus had also worked to block Anthony Scaramucci’s appointment, but President Trump decided to hire him anyway.

The administration denied that Mr Priebus’ resignation had anything to do with Mr Scaramucci. 

Sean Spicer – Press Secretary


President Trump’s top spokesman Sean Spicer resigned after telling him he strongly disagreed with the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

After news of Mr Scaramucci’s hire, Mr Spicer is said to have given Mr Trump an ultimatum “that it was him or me,” according to officials.

During his short time in the White House, Mr Spicer became a household name. His departure was abrupt and reflected the turmoil within Trump’s advisory teams. 

Walter Shaub – Office of Government Ethics Director


Announcing his resignation on Twitter, Walter Shaub left to join the Campaign Legal Centre after working with the Office of Government Ethics since 2006. He was appointed the director by Barack Obama in 2013 and worked with the Trump administration for about five months.

Mr Shaub left with a parting shot at Donald Trump in his outgoing statement:

“In working with the current administration, it has become clear to me that we need improvements to the existing ethics program. I look forward to working toward that aim at Campaign Legal Centre, as well as working on ethics reforms at all levels of government.”

During his time with the Trump administration, he strongly criticized the president, once saying he was “extremely troubled” that Mr Trump had turned over his investments to his two oldest sons. He also clashed with the White House over whether lobbyists in the administration should have to disclose ethics waivers. 

Michael Dubke – Communications Director


Mike Dubke resigned amid President Trump’s plans to shake up his team in the face of multiple investigations. He served in the role for just three months, agreeing to stay on until Donald Trump completed his first overseas trip as president – a nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe.

Mr Dubke gave no reason for leaving but said: “It has been my great honour to serve President Trump and this administration."

James Comey – FBI Director


James Comey was fired by President Trump while leading an investigation into alleged links between team Trump and Russia. Then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement that Mr Comey was “terminated and removed from office.”

The president claimed the sacking was due to poor decisions made by Mr Comey.

In his outgoing letter, the former FBI director urged his former colleagues to continue “upholding the constitution.”

“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all.

“I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either,” he wrote. 

Katie Walsh – Deputy White House Chief of Staff


Described by Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff as "a fine example of the many political professionals in whom competence and organizational skills transcend ideology,” Katie Walsh told Mr Wolff she had an impossible task of managing a president who would not accept anyone’s guidance or expertise. The author quotes Ms Walsh as saying working for Donald Trump was like “trying to figure out what a child wants.”

During her time she had served as one of Mr Trump’s top gatekeepers controlling the White House schedule.

Katie Walsh left the Trump administration to join the pro-Trump group America First Policies.

Preet Bharara – US Attorney for the Southern District of New York


One of Wall Street’s top watchdogs and a respected prosecutor, Preet Bharara said he was fired after a series of “uncomfortable” telephone calls with President Trump.

Mr Bharara was fired only three months into the presidency. Speaking on his podcast he said the firing came after a series of unannounced and unusual phone calls from Mr Trump after Election Day.

He said he received three phone calls and less than 24 hours after he refused to return the third one, he was abruptly fired. To this day, he still does not know why. 

Michael T. Flynn – National Security Adviser


The national security adviser served in the job for less than a month. He resigned after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his talks with the Russian Ambassador to the US.

He admitted he had given “incomplete information” regarding a phone call he had with the ambassador and the Justice Department feared he was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow. 

In December 2017 he pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI.

“I accept full responsibility for my actions,” he said at the time. 

Sally Yates – US Deputy Attorney General


Sally Yates was former US President Barack Obama’s deputy attorney general. She took over as acting head of the Department of Justice on the day of Mr Trump’s inauguration. But she only served for ten days and lost her job for refusing to defend his travel ban because she did not feel it was “lawful.”

She was handed a letter from the president telling her she had been fired.

The fired and resigned members of the Trump administration.
Source: SBS News

Who else?

  • Dina Powell – Deputy National Security Adviser RESIGNED
  • Carl Icahn – Adviser RESIGNED
  • Josh Raffel – Deputy Communications Director RESIGNED
  • Rick Dearborn – Deputy Chief of Staff RESIGNED
  • George Sifakis – Director of the Office of Public Liason RESIGNED
  • Ezra Cohen Watnick – Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council FIRED
  • Michael Short – Senior Press Assistant RESIGNED
  • Vivek Murthy – Surgeon General RESIGNED
  • Angella Reid – Chief Usher FIRED 

Published 7 March 2018 at 4:47pm, updated 12 April 2018 at 9:51am
By Natasha Christian