Washington is buzzing over President Donald Trump’s inner circle, with several reports sparking rumors of departures, dissatisfaction, frustration, and failure in the West Wing.
Here’s the latest:
‘Javanka’ — Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump:
The New York Times on Friday released a dynamite revelation that President Donald Trump has privately urged Gen. John Kelly to help move his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner out of the administration, despite publicly praising their work at the White House.
The president’s son-in-law is the focus of several in-depth reports about his diminished role in the White House.
The Washington Post reports that Kushner has become “badly diminished” and “faded” since Gen. John Kelly downgraded his security clearance.
Kushner’s business dealings have drawn more scrutiny. The New York Times reported that his family real estate business received two multi-billion dollar loans after they met with Kushner at the White House.
The Wall Street Journal suggested that Kushner and his wife Ivanka were becoming political liabilities to the president and should consider resigning their positions in the White House.
The Washington Post also reported that foreign officials have looked at ways to manipulate the United States and President Trump through close ties with Kushner.
Politico reports that Kushner is now the chief target of congressional Democrats who want to take credit for forcing him out.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is also spending more time investigating Kushner’s business dealings, according to CNN.
Ivanka’s post-White House business deals are also under scrutiny, as CNN reported that the FBI is reviewing a deal with Canada.
White House deputy communications director Josh Rafell announced his departure from the administration on Wednesday. This is a blow for Jared and Ivanka, as he frequently wrestled with reporters over media coverage of the couple.
Former Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn is grumpy after Trump announced his expected tariffs of 25 percent on steel and ten percent on aluminum. The president’s economic adviser fought Trump’s announcement but lost after Trump obstinately moved forward on the project.
A Politico story suggests that Cohn is ready to speed up his exit from the White House as a result of Trump’s tariff announcement.
NBC released a new story claiming that Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, was preparing to leave the White House within a month, despite officials adamantly denying the story.
“I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office. President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job,” National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton told the press on Thursday evening.
Rumors of McMaster’s exit have spread for months, despite his remaining in his position.
Gen. John Kelly:
Rumors swirled for weeks that Gen. John Kelly was going to get fired, after the mess surrounding Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s exit from the White House. Kelly was criticized for allowing Porter to continue working in the West Wing despite questions about his security clearance and abuse allegations from his ex-wives.
Kelly appears secure for now, but that could change if the president blames him for the chaos in the administration. Kelly’s biggest job is to maintain order in the White House and stop the leaks. Recent reports prove that staffers are frequently leaking information to the press and feeding the ongoing personal feuds in the administration.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired by Kelly after only 11 days on the job, has recently lashed out against the chief of staff, calling him “General Jackass” and a “bad dude.” The White House dismissed his concerns, telling Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs that no one cares about the “disgraced” former Trump aide.
White House communications director Hope Hicks announced her departure from the administration, prompting a wave of sadness among Trump’s loyal staff. Hicks is the closest adviser to the president and well-loved in the administration. She was also fiercely loyal to Trump’s family, especially Jared and Ivanka.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders remains in her position and, although she might take a more prominent role in the communications office after the departure of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, there are no rumors that she is headed for the exits. White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway’s job also seems stable. She is not interested in the communications director job.
“I’ve been offered that job many times and no, I work on policy here at the White House,” Conway said in an interview on Fox News.