Following the relatively unexpected firing of Rex Tillerson from his Secretary of State position by President Trump via Twitter, the POTUS told reporters during a presser on Tuesday that Tillerson was not the last one to be ousted from his administration. The reporters were flabbergasted, despite countless other firings made by President Trump in the recent weeks and months, but let that go.
What’s happening here is a paradigm shift, as the Donald seems to be cleaning house at a moment when he enjoys his highest approval ratings post election, taking full control on both policy and personnel. Today’s news comes via Vanity Fair, in the form of a report based on anonymous sources familiar with the matter, claiming that the POTUS is looking to fire his AG Jeff Sessions. The intention would be to further complicate the Russia investigation, from which Sessions recused himself a year ago. Vanity Fair says that Sessions will be replaced by Scott Pruitt, the current boss of the EPA.
Perhaps most consequential for Robert Mueller’s investigation, sources said Trump has discussed a plan to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. According to two Republicans in regular contact with the White House, there have been talks that Trump could replace Sessions with E.P.A. Administrator Scott Pruitt,who would not be recused from overseeing the Russia probe. Also, because Pruitt is already a Cabinet secretary, he would not have to go through another Senate confirmation hearing.
Axios got their hands on a picture of Sessions, Rosenstein, and Francisco at dinner tonight. Sources are telling Axios that Trump’s anger with Sessions is different this time; may lead to his firing. https://t.co/YQZEKEHYzO
— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) March 1, 2018
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
The report goes on to saying that President Trump has been quietly complaining about Jivanka, i.e. his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Vanity Fair claims to have intel about the Donald quietly grumbling to his advisers about how he wished Jared and Ivanka would move back to NY, after Kushner’s security clearance was revoked, rendering him incapable of performing his daily duties as senior adviser to the POTUS.
Then there is the question of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s futures. Trump has told people for months that he wants them to go back to New York. “Trump wants them out of there. He thinks they’ve been getting hit too hard,” a friend of the president said. But Javanka are digging in, sources said. “They’ve damaged us so much already. What else can they say about us?” Kushner recently said, according to a person who spoke with him. “And if we go back to New York, they’ll keep attacking. So what do we have to lose?” In recent days, the couple have argued for their continued relevance by cooperating with pieces in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Sources said that if Kelly is forced out, Jared and Ivanka will fight to stay on.
And that’s not the whole story. Earlier this week, there were reports about the Donald planning to fire McMaster, who is currently his National Security Adviser.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton is "waiting in the wings to replace [H.R.] McMaster," @MajorCBS reports; "the sense that H.R. McMaster's days are numbered as national security adviser has reached something close to a fever pitch" https://t.co/MVXWePSct0 pic.twitter.com/upoej56b20
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2018
Bottom line, Rex Tillerson’s strange ousting via Twitter was just the beginning of a larger “cleaning house” operation. However, getting rid of Sessions is the highest priority of the POTUS at this time. Trump could let McMasters keep his job, while still effectively sidelining him, but the A.G. is a different story. Trump needs an aggressive A.G. that can drain the swamp, hold prosecute the criminals, wage war against sanctuary cities, hold ANTIFA accountable for their criminal behavior, prosecute voter fraud etc. You need a strong A.G. to do that.
With McMaster, Trump could sideline him while letting him keep his title, while hiring Bolton or anyone else as a special adviser to assist him.