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Donald Trump Shakeup Roundup: ‘Getting Very Close’ to ‘Having the Cabinet I Want’

US President Donald Trump smiles during his meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Oval office at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

After the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump’s shakeup of his presidential cabinet and West Wing advisors continues leaving even the most comfortable administration officials on edge.

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of people very well over the last year,” Trump told reporters after firing Rex Tillerson and replacing him with his CIA director Mike Pompeo. “And I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”

Trump’s decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter sent a wave of shock across Washington, as the president seemed reenergized after catching the world by surprise.

Here is a rundown of where things stand:

Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly:

Trump likes Kelly, but does not like the idea that he is being controlled by the former general.

“You know, we have General Kelly here, four star, and he’s doing a great job in Washington.” Trump told Marines in California on Tuesday. “I think he likes what you do better than what he does, but he’s doing a great job. He misses you.”

Fox News reports that Kelly might be shifted out of the West Wing in favor of Budget director Mick Mulvaney as chief of staff. Mulvaney’s staff stresses to Breitbart News that the former congressman is happy in his current position at OMB.

National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster:

Rumors of McMaster’s exit have swirled for months, but Trump appears ready to bring in someone new. Ambassador John Bolton is the rumored replacement, as he met with the president earlier in the week. Bolton has canceled media appearances this week as the rumors continue.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: 

Trump is reportedly ready for them to return to New York, but at this point, the couple does not seem inclined to do so.

If Kelly leaves both Jared and Ivanka could break free of the restraints he has put on their positions at the White House and start rebuilding their political careers.

There is a discussion about Kushner possibly returning to the 2020 presidential campaign, but in a rotating power struggle in the West Wing, he could see the benefits of staying.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin

Shulkin is rumored to leave amidst power struggles in the agency. Rick Perry is among the rumored replacements, although he dismissed those rumors “fake news” and says he enjoys his position as Secretary of Energy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

Trump has been angry at Sessions since he recused himself in the Russia investigation, even driving the former Alabama senator to the point where he submitted his letter of resignation before he was convinced by Reince Priebus to stay.

The rumors are a stretch at this point, as additional drama in the Justice Department would drive more questions about the Russia investigation but one scenario is that Sessions would move on and be replaced by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson

Carson could be in trouble after a story about his requested $31,000 cabinet furniture won’t go away. If Trump wants Carson to go, he has an excuse.

Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Devos is coming off a disastrous CBS 60 Minutes interview. Trump pays close attention to TV and a bad performance could raise concerns that he does not have the right person in the job.

 

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