After blasting reports of a Cabinet shakeup, Trump plans to fire McMaster: report

Trump is reportedly thinking of shaking up a number of influential positions in his administration

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 16, 2018 8:00AM (EDT)

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; Donald Trump (AP/Susan Walsh)
Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; Donald Trump (AP/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump is planning on firing National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, making him just the latest casualty in an administration that has seen a spate of high profile firings over the past few weeks.

Trump is planning on firing McMaster due to his inability to professionally mesh well with the three-star Army general but is waiting to find a suitable replacement before formally announcing the decision, according to The Washington Post. This decision was denied in a Thursday night tweet by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

If Trump fires McMaster, it also contradicts what a statement he made to the press yesterday about reports that he was planning on major staffing changes at the White House.

"Well the story was very false," Trump told reporters. "I mean, they wrote a story about staff changes today that was very false."

Of course, Trump added, "There will always be change. I think you want to see change. I want to also see different ideas."

This brings us to Trump's national security adviser. One of Trump's major complaints about McMaster is that his briefings go on for too long and, to the president, seem irrelevant. This particular concern was foreshadowed in 2016 by Trump's former ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, who predicted to The New Yorker that if Trump "had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time."

Among the potential replacements for McMaster as national security adviser are former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and former National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg.

McMaster is hardly the only Trump administration official whose head may be on the proverbial chopping block. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are all facing scrutiny for various controversies over how they've spent taxpayer money that Trump believes reflects poorly on his administration. Chief of Staff John Kelly and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have also been the subject of recent rumors that they will be possibly be replaced.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump H.r. Mcmaster