President Donald Trump has decided to fire national security advisor H. R. McMaster, continuing the disruption that began earlier this week with the dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Trump has determined that it is an opportune time to dismiss McMaster but is delaying the announcement until he is confident in a replacement and can assure the transition is handled with dignity, five people with knowledge of the plans told the Washington Post.
A White House spokesman did not dispute the Washington Post‘s reporting, which was confirmed by multiple outlets. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a vague statement regarding McMaster’s status via Twitter after the story was published.
“Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster – contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC,” Sanders wrote in the Thursday night tweet.
The decision comes just two days after Trump hinted at further cabinet disruption following Tillerson’s dismissal.
“I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want,” Trump told reporters outside the White House moments after announcing Tillerson’s departure.
Trump’s recent implementation of significant steel and aluminum tariffs coupled with his hasty acceptance of a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has reportedly bolstered his faith in his own deal-making abilities. Growing ever more confident in the second year of his administration, the president has begun to tighten his inner-circle by removing advisors such as McMaster, whose temperament and presentation style has never appealed to Trump.
The transitional atmosphere in the White House has prompted widespread speculation that several other cabinet members including Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson — both of whom are being scrutinized for possible ethics violations — might be next.
Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly has not managed to escape the departure rumors either; a number of West Wing aides told the Washington Post he may be replaced by Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.