President Trump reportedly gave Chief of Staff Reince Priebus a deadline of July 4 to complete a White House shakeup. Although Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the claims, rumors of resignations and firings have plagued the White House since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. And two days past the rumored deadline, Trump’s staff has remained largely the same.
With media spreading rumors about the firing or resignation of such big names as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Spicer, and even the chief of staff himself, it’s hard to keep putting faith in these kinds of reports until reality matches the rhetoric. Here’s a rundown of big names the media has cried wolf on regarding Trump administration exits.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Who Reported: ABC News, Axios, The Blaze, The Boston Globe, Business Insider, Daily Caller, Fox News, The Hill, Mediaite, New York Post, New York Times, NPR, Politico, Slate, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post
The reason: The president was reportedly upset with Sessions for creating a “politically correct” version of his proposed executive order temporarily limiting migration from terrorist-hotbed countries, as well as recusing himself from an investigation in Russian involvement in the election.
A snapshot: “Since Sessions is just as frustrated with Trump as POTUS is with him, the AG was willing to toss out the resignation offer at one point.” Mediaite
White House Counsel Don McGahn
The reason: Trump never understood why McGahn didn’t try to keep Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia probe.
A snapshot: “The official said McGahn’s relationship with Trump began to sour after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.” New York Post
Press Secretary Sean Spicer
The reason: Trump has reportedly been discontent with Spicer for what he sees as failure to properly defend Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director. Spicer will reportedly hold his position, but make less appearances in front of the camera.
A snapshot: “One consideration being thrown around is the possibility of Mr. Trump himself holding a press conference every two weeks and reducing Spicer’s press briefings down to once or twice a week.” CBS News
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
The reason: Priebus was rumored to be up for resignation in February, due to his involvement with the temporary travel ban.
A snapshot: “The president has joked repeatedly with Mr. Priebus, whose mother is of Greek descent, that he would send him to Athens as ambassador to Greece.” New York Times
Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
The reason: Bannon reportedly threatened to resign after being removed from his seat in the National Security Council in April. Spokesmen have denied Bannon making any such threat.
A snapshot: “According to Harnik, it’s unlikely Trump would consider replacing any of his Cabinet members, but White House staff—including Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer and counsel Don McGahn—are all potentially on the chopping block.” The Blaze
Senior Adviser Jared Kushner
The reason: Kushner has been reported to possibly have been in collusion with Russia.
A snapshot: “It’s not clear that Trump would remove a family member, and Kushner’s lawyer said he is willing to cooperate with the various investigations into the matter.” Politico
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
The reason: Trump was reportedly unhappy with Ross for praising himself too much on a China trade announcement.
A snapshot: “Trump has two complaints about Cabinet members: Either they’re tooting their own horns too much, or they’re insufficiently effusive in praising him as a brilliant diplomat, etc.” Axios
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price
The reason: The president was reportedly upset with Price for his role in the slow pace of Obamacare repeal legislation.
A snapshot: “While no Cabinet member is expected to be gone anytime soon, a shakeup in the White House appears to have a strong chance, according to Axios.” Salon
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein
The reason: Rosenstein reportedly threatened to resign after he was painted as the primary maker of the decision to fire Comey.
A snapshot: “As the White House continued to push its version of the firing decision, Rosenstein bristled at how his role in the coup was being portrayed.” The Daily Caller
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster
The reason: Although there are no reports explicitly placing McMaster on the “fired” list, Trump has allegedly complained about him speaking too much in meetings.
A snapshot: “According to that report, Trump has ‘privately expressed regret’ for choosing McMaster to replace Michael Flynn, a fierce Trump loyalist who was fired after only 24 days on the job amid controversy over his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.” The Hill
Advisor Kellyanne Conway
The reasons: Conway caught heat in February after her story about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation conflicted with the official White House statement. An April article in Vanity Fair suggested Conway was “getting edged out at the White House.” And The Atlantic suggested Conway would be fired for encouraging Americans to “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
A snapshot: “But less than three months into the White House, Conway’s portfolio appears diminished, as Kushner’s own has ballooned…Kushner, it seemed, had taken a bite out of Conway’s job. And this maneuver merely resurfaced a question that has been simmering around the Trump inner circle for months: What does Kellyanne Conway do when she is not on TV?” Vanity Fair