Former Trump administration officials, from Comey to McMaster


A growing number of people have left the Trump administration in just over a year – a group that includes FBI director James Comey, chief strategist Steve Bannon and now National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster.

Some, such as Comey and Tillerson, were fired by President Trump, while others resigned for a variety of reasons.

Trump addressed the high turnover in the White House in a March tweet, denying that there is any “chaos.” 

“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),” he said. 

Read on for a look at some of the staffers who have left since Trump took office.

H.R. McMaster 

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo  (National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. )

Trump announced March 22 that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster will be replaced on April 9 by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. 

“I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” the president tweeted.

McMaster, 55, replied in a statement, “After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians.”

He added that he is “thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor.” 

Andrew McCabe 

Andrew McCabe has been repeatedly attacked by Trump since the fall of 2016.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on March 16 – just days before he was set to retire, jeopardizing his pension.

The dismissal was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials. A yet-to-be-released inspector general report allegedly concluded McCabe had authorized the release of information to the media and had not been forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability,” Sessions said in a statement after McCabe was fired. 

In a tweet, Trump said the firing was a “great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI.”

The dismissal came after McCabe, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, was “removed” from his position as the No. 2 figure at the FBI and went on “terminal leave” in January, a source told Fox News at the time. 

He had repeatedly been criticized by Trump since 2016 when it was revealed that his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, had accepted campaign contributions from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally, during a failed state Senate run.

Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson served as secretary of state for a little more than one year.  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Trump announced on March 13 that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil chief, served as the nation’s top diplomat since February 2017. Rumors of his departure had circulated for months, especially after he reportedly called Trump a “moron” in front of other Cabinet officials in July 2017.

In a tweet, Trump thanked Tillerson for his service to the country. A senior White House official told Fox News that Trump made the decision to replace Tillerson ahead of a planned meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Tillerson later told reporters that he is delegating his responsibilities to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan until his final day at the end of March.

John McEntee

John McEntee, Trump’s longtime personal aide, was reportedly escorted from the White House. But he is joining the 2020 campaign.  (Reuters/Leah Millis)

Trump’s longtime personal aide John McEntee, 27, was escorted from the White House on March 13. McEntee, who was well liked in the West Wing, occupied a key White House role, never far from Trump in the White House or on the road.

He was moved to Trump’s 2020 campaign, where he will serve as a senior adviser for campaign operations, the Trump campaign said.

Gary Cohn 

White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn is stepping down from his role.  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly, File)

Gary Cohn is set to leave his post as National Economic Council director, Fox News confirmed March 6

“Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,” Trump said in a statement. “He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

Cohn, who served as Trump’s chief economic adviser since the beginning of the administration, has reportedly been discussing with the president his transition out of the White House for several weeks. Cohn opposed Trump’s planned tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum and tried to get the president to change course.

White House officials told Fox News that Cohn’s departure date is to be determined, but it’s expected to be in a few weeks.

Cohn drafted a resignation letter last year, following the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va. 

Roberta Jacobson

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, announced in a March 1 note that she is resigning in May.  (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said in a March 1 note that she would be resigning from her post in the spring.

Her resignation, which she said would take effect on May 5, comes amid strained relations between the two countries. She did not specify why she will be leaving her post but said on Twitter that she is “in search of other opportunities.”

“I have come to the difficult decision that it is the right time to move on to new challenges and adventures,” Jacobson wrote in her note. “This decision is all the more difficult because of my profound belief in the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and knowledge that it is at a crucial moment.”

A career diplomat, Jacobson previously served as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and is seen as having a deep understanding of the region and the Mexico-U.S. relationship. She said she has spent more than 31 years in government service.

Hope Hicks

White House communications director Hope Hicks, a longtime Trump associate, resigned.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

White House communications director Hope Hicks is resigning, Fox News confirmed on Feb. 28. Her exact departure is to be determined, but it will be sometime in the next few weeks, the White House said.

Hicks, 29, is Trump’s longest serving aide, as she previously worked for him and his family before he announced his candidacy.

“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump said in a statement.

“There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks, a former Ralph Lauren fashion model, said in a statement. “I wish the president and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”

The announcement came a day after Hicks acknowledged to a House intelligence panel that she has occasionally told “white lies” for Trump but denied lying about anything relevant to the Russia investigation. 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Hicks’ decision to leave the administration was “something that she’s been thinking about for a while.”

Hicks, who largely worked behind the scenes during her tenure with Trump, found herself in the spotlight earlier this year when her relationship with former White House staff secretary Rob Porter was revealed. Porter left his job earlier in February after allegations surfaced that he physically abused his two ex-wives.

Josh Raffel

Josh Raffel, a top White House communications aide who served as a spokesman for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, will leave the administration sometime in the coming months.

Raffel joined the administration in the spring of 2017. He was hired to work on communications for the White House Office of American Innovation and also worked on behalf of Kushner and Trump. His portfolio of issues included tax reform and the Middle East peace process.

In a statement, Ivanka Trump called Raffel “honest, passionate and thoughtful,” adding that his “guidance was invaluable.”

Raffel is expected to return to New York to join the private sector and tend to family obligations, Axios reported.

David Sorensen

White House speechwriter David Sorensen resigned on Feb. 9 amid domestic abuse allegations. 

Sorensen’s ex-wife first told The Washington Post that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their marriage. He has denied the allegations. 

Sorensen’s position did not require a security clearance, the White House said, adding that his background check was ongoing.

Sorensen had worked as a senior adviser to Gov. Paul LePage, according to the Portland Press Herald

Rachel Brand 

Rachel Brand, the associate attorney general in the Department of Justice, is stepping down from her position.  (Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Rachel Brand is stepping down from her position, Fox News confirmed on Feb. 9. Brand is an associate attorney general in the Department of Justice.

Brand, the No. 3 official in the Justice Department, served in the role for nine months before accepting a job with Walmart. She will serve as the retail giant’s executive vice president, global governance and corporate secretary.

In an interview with Fox News, Brand disputed claims that she left the administration due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign.

Rob Porter

White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned from office following reports that he abused his ex-wives. He denied the allegations.  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

White House staff secretary Rob Porter announced his resignation from the Trump administration on Feb. 7 following reports that he abused his two ex-wives.

Porter’s ex-wives told the Daily Mail that he was physically and mentally abusive.

Porter denied the “outrageous allegations” and resigned from his position.

“I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” Porter said.

Two days after the resignation, Trump wished the former staffer well, saying he hopes Porter has “a great career ahead of him.” He said the allegations were “very sad” and stressed that Porter has maintained his innocence.

Omarosa Manigault Newman

Omarosa Manigault Newman joined the Trump administration as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison.  (Reuters/Omar Negrin)

A former “Apprentice” star, Omarosa Manigault Newman joined the Trump administration as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison to work on outreach to various contingency groups.

White House press secretary Sanders said on Dec. 13 that Manigault Newman’s last day with the administration would be on Jan. 20 – exactly one year since Trump’s inauguration.

Manigault Newman reportedly drew scrutiny from White House chief of staff John Kelly. She also came under fire for bringing her 39-person bridal party to the White House for a photo shoot in 2017. 

Richard Cordray

Richard Cordray resigned from his position as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 24, 2017.  (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Richard Cordray resigned from his post as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 24, 2017, setting off a fight between his former chief of staff and the White House over who would replace him.

Cordray’s resignation didn’t come as a surprise; he had previously said he would quit his job by the end of November. But many thought his resignation would set up Trump to appoint his own director of an agency that has been widely criticized by his administration and Republicans alike.

However, before his resignation, Cordray elevated his chief of staff Leandra English to the deputy director position – meaning she would become acting CFPB director after he quit. But the White House announced Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, as its interim director.

Tom Price

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned from his position in September 2017 following reports that he used costly private plans at the taxpayers’ expense.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Tom Price officially resigned from his post as Health and Human Services Secretary on Sept. 29, 2017, according to a White House statement.

The move came after Price received major criticism following reports of his use of private planes.

Price had promised to repay the government for the use of his costly flights and vowed never to take a private charter plane again while in his post as secretary but was ultimately let go anyway. 

Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka, the Deputy assistant to President Trump, is no longer employed with the administration, the White House announced in August 2017.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The White House announced that Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to Trump, was no longer a part of the administration during a Friday evening news dump on Aug. 25, 2017.

White House officials told Fox News that Gorka did not resign but confirmed that he “no longer works” with the administration.

However, Gorka insisted to the Washington Examiner that he did actually resign.

A former Breitbart news editor, Gorka joined the Trump administration as a counterterrorism adviser and assisted with national security policy decisions alongside Bannon, according to White House sources.

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News chief, was removed from his position as chief strategist in August.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Steve Bannon was removed from his position as White House chief strategist on Aug. 18, 2017.

The Breitbart News chief joined Trump’s presidential campaign and was later appointed to a senior adviser role after Trump won the election.

Bannon, the hardcore populist, had become increasingly isolated inside the White House following John Kelly’s appointment as chief of staff, White House sources and outside advisers told Fox News.

A White House aide told Fox News that Bannon’s ouster wasn’t sudden; he submitted his resignation in writing several weeks prior, the aide said.

Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci lasted as the White House communications director for only 10 days.  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

The announcement of Anthony Scaramucci as the White House communications director on July 21, 2017, set into motion a big shakeup in White House staff.

But Scaramucci himself lasted only 10 days in the White House. He was reportedly removed at the request of new White House chief of staff John Kelly. 

Kelly was sworn in as chief of staff just hours before Scaramucci was removed. 

Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus, the former RNC head, was out as Trump’s chief of staff in July.  (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Trump announced Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as his new White House chief of staff on July 28, 2017, effectively ousting Reince Priebus. 

The replacement of Preibus as chief of staff came amid tensions between he and Scaramucci, the White House communications director at the time.

Michael Short

White House assistant press secretary Michael Short resigned on July 25, 2017, after Scaramucci informed Politico of his intent to fire him.

“This is the problem with the leaking,” Scaramucci reportedly told reporters. “This is actually a terrible thing. Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic.”

Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary after the administration hired Anthony Scaramucci.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced his resignation on July 21, 2017. 

Walter Shaub

Walter Shaub Jr. resigned from his position as the director of the Office of Government Ethics.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub Jr. announced on July 6, 2017 that he was resigning from his job after clashing with Trump. His final date in office was July 19.

In his position, Shaub was often at odds with the Trump administration, particularly when it came to Trump’s business dealings.

Shaub joined the Campaign Legal Center, an organization in Washington that mostly focuses on violations of campaign finance law.

Michael Dubke

While former White House communications director Michael Dubke tendered his resignation quietly on May 18, 2017, he stayed on with the administration until after the president’s first foreign trip.

He said that he resigned due to “personal” reasons.

James Comey

Fired FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump abruptly.  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey in a brief letter on May 9, 2017, saying Comey could not “effectively lead” the bureau any longer.

Trump repeatedly criticized Comey’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, and Comey said after his firing that he felt uncomfortable by comments Trump made about the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn.

Comey reportedly was speaking to employees in Los Angeles when news of his ousting came across the television. At the time, according to reports, Comey thought it was a prank.

Katie Walsh

Deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh resigned on March 30, 2017, after a Trump-backed health care bill failed to make it through the House, according to The Associated Press.

She left the White House to join the pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies.

Walsh came to the White House after serving in the Republican National Committee under then-chairman Reince Priebus.

Preet Bharara

Preet Bharara was fired from his position as Manhattan federal prosecutor after he declined to resign.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara was fired on March 11, 2017, after he declined to willingly resign from his job.

The Justice Department said attorneys general who were holdovers from the Obama administration needed to resign. Bharara refused to do so.

“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired,” Bharara tweeted. “Being the US Attorney in [the Southern District of New York] will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn resigned as the Trump administration’s embattled national security adviser in February 2017.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Michael Flynn, Trump’s embattled national security adviser, resigned on Feb. 13, 2017, after it was revealed that he apparently lied about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.

“I have nothing to be ashamed for and everything to be proud of,” Flynn told Fox News at the time.

Sally Yates

Sally Yates was removed from her position as acting attorney general after she refused to enforce President Donald Trump’s travel ban.  (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Taking over as acting attorney general following the departure of Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates was removed from her position on January 30, 2017.

Yates refused to enforce Trump’s controversial travel ban and issued a memo to the Justice Department not to defend the executive order.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown, Jake Gibson, Serafin Gomez, Alex Pappas, John Roberts, Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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