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Trump Decides to Remove National Security Adviser McMaster, Others May Follow

Kelly tries to reassure White House staffers: No more personnel moves for now

President Trump said Thursday in the Oval Office that news reports of a coming mass exodus from his White House are 'very false'. This was most recently evidenced by his recent selection of economist and television pundit Larry Kudlow to be his top economic adviser, replacing Gary Cohn, who recently stepped down over steel tariffs.

It's also possible that the President delays firing McMaster in an attempt to disprove reports in the media, one source familiar with Trump's thinking said.

It's the very question that has the whole White House on edge. Though the drumbeat of the ongoing Russian Federation probe has only grown louder, the president believes that his recent decisions on tariffs and North Korea have breathed new life into his administration, and he is eager to take more bold steps that make his own mark. He has told confidants he wants to rid himself of staffers who hold him back.

McMaster, in turn, is not a natural fit for the scattershot policy-making process in the White House and dislikes the internal rivalries that so often divide the West Wing.

The daily reported that Trump has complained that McMaster is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant.

Kelly has been credited with imposing order on the chaotic West Wing, but his relationship with Trump has come under strain, as well.

Demonstrators gather for Trump's San Diego visit
He said he preferred a fully concrete wall because it was the hardest to climb, but he noted that it needed to be see-through. He will also headline a Republican National Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills, where tickets cost as much as $250,000.

"The President controls the timing here", another White House official told CNN, nodding to the fact that nothing is certain until Trump deems it to be. Bolton, who said last fall that "the only diplomatic option left" in North Korea was regime change, has tempered his comments during recent appearances as speculation ramps up that he could replace McMaster as national security adviser.

At least one of Trump's "generals" - the collection of military advisers he used to boast about - remains largely in good standing.

Citing five sources with knowledge of the president's plans, the daily said, "The turbulence is part of a broader potential shake-up under consideration by Trump that is likely to include senior officials at the White House, where staffers are gripped by fear and uncertainty as they await the next move from an impulsive president who enjoys stoking conflict".

White House aides initially claimed that Kelly had called Tillerson last Friday, interrupting a night's sleep in Africa to let him know the president planned to relieve him of duty.

The shaken-sounding outgoing cabinet secretary explained that his official ending date will be March 31, and that he aims for an "orderly and smooth transition" for his replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Trump immediately hired McEntee to work for his campaign.

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