Trump threatens to sack more White House staff while trying to play down reports of 'chaos'

President attempts to defend himself from reports of possible high-profile departures

Emily Shugerman
New York
Tuesday 06 March 2018 15:05
President Donald Trump during a meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House
President Donald Trump during a meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House

President Donald Trump has suggested he may fire more people from his administration, in a tweet defending himself from reports of chaos in the White House.

"The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House," Mr Trump tweeted in an early-morning missive. "Wrong!"

He added: "People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection)."

It was unclear to whom the president was referring, but the tweet appeared to be a response to a rash of recent headlines about tumult in the White House. Staffers have described an air of "anxiety and volatility" in the building this week, according to the Washington Post. Still others told Buzzfeed they were looking for new jobs.

At least a dozen administration officials have resigned or been fired since Mr Trump took office.

Mr Trump's tweets followed the resignation of Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of Mr Trump's longest-serving aides. Ms Hicks was seen as one of the only remaining Trump loyalists in the White House, following the departures of former presidential adviser Steve Bannon and Mr Trump's former personal bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

Multiple outlets have reported that the White House is also preparing for the possible departure of national security adviser HR McMaster. Mr Trump has frequently clashed with the adviser over subjects such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Meanwhile, a former Trump campaign aide took to the airwaves this week to declare that he would not comply with a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. The former aide, Sam Nunberg, also lambasted Mr Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the process.

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg refuses to comply with Mueller probe

Ms Sanders has attempted to defend the White House from reports of tumult, telling Fox News last week: "If they want to call it ‘chaos,’ fine. But we call it success and productivity."

But the night before his tweetstorm, Mr Trump himself joked about the high rate of turnover in the White House. He told the audience at the Gridiron Club Dinner – an annual event hosted by the exclusive journalistic organisation – that he "like[d] chaos" and found it "really exciting and invigorating".

"Now the question everyone keeps asking is: ‘Who’s going to be the next to leave? [Policy adviser] Steve Miller or [First Lady] Melania?" he joked.

"It’s been really another calm week at the White House," he added sarcastically. "We finally have it running like a fine-tuned machine. It’s fine-tuned. It’s a beautiful piece of work."

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