Resignations and Dismissals
Resignations and dismissals of cabinet members and senior White House staff are not uncommon. During Obama's first six years as president, 36 high-ranking officials resigned for various reasons. The George W. Bush administration experienced 42 resignations. Nine criminal convictions of high-ranking or senior administration members followed those resignations.
Reagan's administration saw the most resignations, due largely to the Iran-Contra Affair. By the end of his two terms, 138 White House officials had been convicted, indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations following their resignations, including his press secretary and chief of staff.
Trump's presidency has been marked by swift resignations and withdrawals from consideration. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned amid scandal. Trump's nominee for Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, stepped aside amid controversies over unpaid taxes and other issues. Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort stepped down after ties between him and Russia were revealed during the campaign. Manafort himself was only appointed the campaign manager after the previous one, Corey Lewandowski, resigned after physically abusing a journalist, among other things. Another staffer, adviser Michael Caputo, was fired after mocking Lewandowski for being fired. And Trump's North Carolina state campaign director resigned after being accused of pointing a loaded gun at staffers.
|2018.03.07||Several White House staffers have been terminated or reassigned for issues related to their security clearances — with at least one individual employed in the Office of the First Lady relieved of duty. abcnews.go.com (See also John Kelly, Jared Kushner, Administration Errors)|
|2018.03.13||Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea. washingtonpost.com (See also Rex Tillerson, Department of State, North Korea, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.03.13||Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted off of the White House on Monday, due to and unspecified financial security issue. wsj.com (See also Legal Issues)|
|2018.03.13||Hours before being ousted as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson called the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Rex Tillerson, Department of State)|
“It's almost beyond comprehension that a state, an organized state would do something like that,” Rex Tillerson said on a trip to Africa, hours before being fired.
|2018.03.13||The San Francisco spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has resigned over what he described as “false” and “misleading” statements made by top-ranking officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan. washingtonpost.com (See also Jeff Sessions, Department of State, False Statements, Immigration)|
|2018.03.16||Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire — a move that McCabe alleged was an attempt to slander him and undermine the ongoing special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2018.03.21||Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a "lack of candor," McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions himself lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives. abcnews.go.com (See also Jeff Sessions, False Statements, Department of Justice)|
|2018.03.22||Donald Trump named John R. Bolton as his third national security adviser, replacing General H.R. McMaster, creating one of the most hawkish national security teams of any White House in recent history nytimes.com (See also H.R. McMaster, Foreign Policy)|
|2018.03.22||The president’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd, resigned, days after the president called for an end to the inquiry. nytimes.com (See also Legal Issues)|
|2018.03.25||Donald Trump has decided not to hire two lawyers previously announced as new additions to his legal team, leaving him with a shrinking stable of lawyers as the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III enters an intense phase. nytimes.com (See also Reversals, Legal Issues)|
|2018.03.28||After weeks of uncertainty atop the Department of Veterans Affairs, Donald Trump said he plans to replace its secretary, David J. Shulkin, with Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician and a rear admiral in the Navy. nytimes.com (See also David Shulkin, Department of Veterans Affairs)|
|2018.04.08||National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton plans to leave the White House — a move that will leave Donald Trump without one of the earliest and sharpest defenders of his “America First" foreign policy. politico.com (See also Michael Flynn, H.R. McMaster)|
|2018.04.10||The EPA removed a career staffer, Mario Caraballo, who approved an internal report that undermined Administrator Scott Pruitt's claims that he needed around-the-clock bodyguards and other expensive security protection. politico.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Corruption)|
|2018.04.11||Nadia Schadlow, the US deputy national security adviser for strategy, has resigned and will leave her position at the end of the month. cnn.com (See also Federal Departments)|
Schadlow is the third senior national security official to resign or be pushed out in the wake of national security adviser John Bolton's entrée to the White House.
|2018.04.12||A former top EPA staffer has told Democratic lawmakers that the agency fired him after he refused to retroactively approve the first-class travel of one of Administrator Scott Pruitt's closest aides "because it violated federal travel regulations." politico.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency, Corruption)|
|2018.04.26||Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn as Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, as his nomination was hampered by a flurry of allegations about his professional conduct. cnn.com (See also Reversals)|
|2018.04.27||Job vacancies are fast becoming a singular threat to Donald Trump’s administration, with a record number of openings that stretch from low-level appointments to the secretary’s office at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as many senior career government workers have quit or retired since Trump took office, taking institutional knowledge with them. politico.com (See also Assaults on Government, Administration Errors)|
|2018.04.29||White House physician Ronny Jackson will not return to his role as the president’s personal physician, after a string of allegations caused the Navy rear admiral to withdraw his nomination last week to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. politico.com|
|2018.04/28 Donald Trump called for the resignation of Senator Jon Tester and threatened to spread allegations about the Democratic lawmaker in retaliation for helping to thwart his effort to install the White House physician in the cabinet. nytimes.com (See also Belief in Conspiracy Theories, Unpresidential Behavior)|
|2018.05.01||Two top aides to Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief who is facing an array of investigations related to his spending and management practices, have resigned amid widening scrutiny of their roles at the agency. nytimes.com (See also Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency)|
|2018.05.02||White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who served as the administration’s point person in dealing with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, is stepping down and will be replaced by veteran white-collar defense attorney Emmet Flood. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity)|
|2018.05.03||Sam Clovis, the former Trump campaign aide who had been serving as USDA's liaison to the White House, is leaving the Agriculture Department and will return home to Iowa. politico.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, 2016 Campaign)|
|2018.05.10||The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton. washingtonpost.com (See also Reversals)|
Ziemer’s last day was Tuesday, the same day a new Ebola outbreak was declared in Congo. He is not being replaced.
|2018.05.11||One of the State Department’s top experts on nuclear proliferation resigned this week after Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in what officials and analysts say is part of a worrying brain drain from public service generally over the past 18 months. foreignpolicy.com (See also Iran, Nuclear Weapons)|
|2018.05.25||Mark S. Inch, the man in charge of the federal prison system, has resigned, stating he was tired of the Trump administration flouting "departmental norms" and complained that Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner had marginalized his role. nytimes.com (See also Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner)|