From the outset of the Trump presidency to the most recent weeks of craziness, the list of Trump administration resignations and firings has steadily grown. Trump has fired some of his most notable advisers, removed people he appointed only days or weeks earlier, and caused massive amounts of speculation as to his motives and agenda.
Hard to keep up? Absolutely. Rife with rumors? Definitely. All of the Trump firings and resignations have created more questions than answers - not to mention numerous vacancies - so here's a run-down of the ins and outs of the Trump administration from the media, the affected parties, and the president himself. Here's everyone Trump has fired - so far, that is. Who else will make a (dis)graceful exit, joining the illustrious ranks of everyone fired from the Trump White House? Only time will tell.
September 27, 2019
Kurt Volker, former US ambassador to NATO and the executive director of the McCain Institute, resigned from his position as special envoy to Ukraine on September 27, 2019.
Volker exited the administration the day after he was named in the complaint of a White House whistleblower that alleges President Donald Trump solicited political favors from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 phone call. In the transcript of the call released by the White House, Trump asks Zelensky to investigate the family of fromer Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, over alleged corruption charges. According to a US State Department official, it was Volker who connected Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, with Ukrainian officials.
While the whistleblower complaint claims Volker attempted to "contain the damage" of Giuliani's contact with Ukraine, a July 19 text message obtained by Fox News suggests Volker encouraged the outreach. Giuliani has said he was in regular contact with Volker during his efforts.
September 10, 2019
In a surprise tweet posted in the morning, President Donald Trump announced that he had fired National Security Adviser John Bolton the previous evening. In a tweet of his own, Bolton offered a conflicting account, saying he offered the president his resignation but was told they would "talk about it tomorrow."
A controversial choice from the beginning of his tenure, Bolton was notably hawkish on the United States' relationships with Iran and North Korea. Trump claims to want peace with the two adversarial nations, which allegedly caused a rift between the two men. According to reports, Bolton had become increasingly sidelined by the administration, even to the point of being left out of negotiations for a potential peace agreement with the Taliban.
In announcing Bolton's departure, Trump said he "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration."
A political commentator and former ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush, Bolton was Trump's third national security adviser. His predecessors were H.R. McMaster, who was ousted in March 2018, and Michael Flynn, who left the administration in February 2017 after admitting that he lied about his relationship with foreign governments.
August 15, 2019
Following the departure of her boss, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Director Sue Gordon announced she would also resign her position on August 15, 2019. Gordon, slated to become acting director of her department, was urged to resign by Coats.
Though traditional protocol would see Gordon ascend to the top intelligence position after Coats's resignation, White House officials told CNN Trump was seeking a legal means to circumvent the normal chain of succession. Though Gordon is well-qualified for the position - having worked in the intelligence field for more than 30 years - Trump allegedly disliked her close ties to intelligence officials like Coats and former CIA Director John Brennan, who has been critical of the president.
In early August, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff praised Gordon and said she would be an "excellent candidate" to replace Dan Coats. Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in reply, "If Adam Schiff wants her in there, the rumors about her being besties with Brennan and the rest of the clown cadre must be 100% true."
August 15, 2019
Following an often contentious relationship with the president of the United States, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats resigned from the Trump administration on August 15, 2019. His departure was announced in a July 28 tweet from President Trump.
Since joining the administration in March 2017, Coats interacted with the president on a near-daily basis to review his morning intelligence briefings. Yet, despite a reputation for bipartisanship and friendliness (a colleague once dubbed him the "Mister Rogers" of the Senate), Coats often found himself at odds with Trump - who considered firing the director on several occasions.
In July 2018, Trump did not consult Coats before inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House. Coats only learned of the invitation during a live interview with NBC anchor Andrea Mitchell.
In January 2019, while delivering an annual assessment of global threats facing the US, Coats contradicted the president on several points - including the threat levels of Iran, Russia, the status of ISIS, and climate change.
Coats once said he would be "on board" with the Trump administration "[a]s long as I am able to have the ability to seek the truth [and] speak the truth."