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.
In late 2018, departures within the Trump administration hit an all-time high, with the Brookings Institute reporting turnover in "the most senior level of White House staff members" rising to 83%. By July 2019, Trump officially saw more turnover in his first-term cabinet than any president in 40 years.
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.
October 17, 2019
Energy Secretary Rick Perry has announced he will soon resign from the Trump administration. According to Jennifer Jacobs, a senior White House reporter with Bloomberg News, Perry handed his resignation to President Donald Trump on October 17 while the two were aboard Air Force One. A departure date has not yet been set, Jacobs reported.
Though this decision comes as Perry faces increasing scrutiny related to the president's Ukraine scandal, rumors that the former Texas governor was eyeing the exit have circulated since early 2019. The president blamed Perry for the July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that inspired a whistleblower complaint, saying it was the secretary's idea. The complaint directly led to the House opening an impeachment inquiry into the president's actions regarding Ukraine.
According to Bloomberg, Perry met with Zelensky at least three times since his election, and told the Wall Street Journal he has been in contact with Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, on the subject of "Ukrainian corruption." The secretary's involvement with the matter spurred House Democrats to issue him a subpoena demanding more information.
July 12, 2019
US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned after one of his previous clients from when we worked as a US attorney in Miami, Jeffrey Epstein, was charged with engaging in inappropriate relations with minors, to which he pleaded not guilty. In 2008, Acosta negotiated a 13-month sentence for Epstein after he was charged with similar activity. Given the new charges against Epstein, many people are upset with Acosta for defending him.
According to CNN, Acosta told President Trump, "I do not think it is right and fair to this administration's Labor Department to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy that we have today."
Trump said he "thought [Acosta] did a fantastic job" and "in so many ways I hate what he's saying now cause we're gonna miss him."
A White House official alleged that privately Trump was not upset with Acosta's departure: "Your well of support is not going to be deep if you're not going to support the president's agenda."
John Sanders - Resigned
June 25, 2019
US Customs and Border Protection commissioner John Sanders resigned on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, in response to public outrage regarding the treatment of migrant children who are being held at a CBP station in Texas. According to the Associated Press, the conditions within the facility include "inadequate food, lack of medical care, and older children trying to care for toddlers."
Sanders blames the lack of money provided to the CBP for the conditions and asked congress to pass a "$4.5 billion emergency funding bill." Before congress could respond, Sanders resigned, saying, "Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career."
President Trump says he doesn't recall ever meeting Sanders and did not ask for his resignation. Though Trump also reports that the CBP are moving children to different locations, there is little reassurance that the materials needed to provide proper care are actually available.
Sarah Sanders - Resigned
June 13, 2019
Sarah Sanders announced that she will be stepping down from her position as White House press secretary by the end of June, 2019. Sanders is the second press secretary to serve during Trump's presidency. She is also the last remaining member of Trump's original White House staff.
Sanders says she will be returning to her home state of Arkansas to spend time with her three kids. She also says she will "continue to be one of the most outspoken and loyal defenders of the president." President Trump has reciprocated her sentiment, calling Sanders a "warrior" and suggesting she run for Governor of Arkansas.
In the months before her departure, Sanders avoided the spotlight and critics questioned her credibility following Robert Muller's report, contributing to her adversarial relationship with the press.
Sanders was one of the President's most trusted advisors and the third female press secretary in the history of the United States.