The firings and resignations of the Trump administration
Here are the notable firings and resignations of the Trump administration, starting with the most recent departure:
July 12: Alex Acosta
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned amid the fallout over a plea deal he made with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, a sex offender charged with human trafficking girls as young as 14.
June 18: Patrick Shanahan
Trump tapped acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan for the permanent post in May 2019 only to have him drop out of the confirmation process weeks later and announce that he’d step down from department. In a June 18 tweet, the president said Shanahan did “a wonderful job” but wanted to “devote more time to his family.” The announcement came about an hour after USA TODAY detailed an FBI examination of a 2010 violent domestic dispute between Shanahan and his then-wife.
June 13: Sarah Sanders
Sarah Sanders is stepping down as President Donald Trump’s press secretary after serving as the public face of the White House during some of the administration’s most contentious chapters. The president described Sanders as a “warrior” and hinted that she might follow in her father’s footsteps and run for governor of Arkansas, her home state.
May 11: Rod Rosenstein
The Deputy Attorney General submitted his letter of resignation on April 29, effective May 11. He stepped down following the end of the Mueller investigation, during which he was often the target of President Donald Trump’s criticism.
April 8: Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles
The Trump administration removed Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles from his post after less than two years in the role. His abrupt removal was disclosed in the wake of the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
April 7: Kirstjen Nielsen
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned amid a surge in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border that put massive strains on America’s immigration system. “I hope that the next Secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders,” she said in her resignation letter.
March 29: Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon, the head of the Small Business Administration, announced she planned to step down in order to help raise money for President Donald Trump’s re-election bid on a political action committee.
March 8: Bill Shine
Former Fox News executive Bill Shine resigned as White House communications director after less than one year on the job. He will go one to work for Trump’s re-election campaign ahead of the 2020 election.
March 5: Scott Gottlieb
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb surprised both his critics and supporters when he resigned March 5. The physician and venture capitalist made a name for himself for his efforts to increase regulations around youth vaping and tobacco, which he declared an “epidemic.”
Feb. 13: Brock Long
FEMA Administrator Brock Long, who drew praise and criticism for his agency’s response to major disasters, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, announced he was leaving the agency.
Dec. 20, 2018: Jim Mattis
President Donald Trump announced over Twitter that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would be leaving his administration in February 2019. The ousting followed disputes between Mattis and the president, notably the announcement just a day prior that the U.S. would pull troops from Syria, something the defense secretary had opposed.
Dec. 15, 2018: Ryan Zinke
Ryan Zinke, the embattled secretary of the Interior, will leave the administration at the end of 2018, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter. A former Montana congressman, Zinke, 57, has been embroiled in several investigations. In one case, the Interior Department’s own inspector general reportedly referred Zinke to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution.
Dec. 8, 2018: John Kelly
Amid a cabinet shakeup, President Trump announced his chief of staff, John Kelly, would be leaving his administration at the end of 2018. Kelly’s departure was expected for months due to a series of internal tensions that frequently spilled into public view in recent months.
Nov. 7, 2018: Jeff Sessions
The day after a bitter midterm election, President Trump announced his attorney general Jeff Sessions would no longer serve in his administration. Sessions’ firing was no surprise as he’d long been a primary target of the president due to his recusal from heading the special counsel investigation on Russia meddling.
Oct. 9, 2018: Nikki Haley
Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced she would step down at the end of 2018, an unexpected departure as the administration makes fundamental changes to U.S. policy abroad.
Aug. 29, 2018: Don McGahn
The White House counsel, who had extraordinary access to President Donald Trump during some of his most controversial dealings and decisions, will leave his post in fall 2018, the president announced in a tweet.
July 5, 2018: Scott Pruitt
After months of allegations of misconduct, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency handed in his resignation.
April 30, 2018: Thomas Homan
The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who headed up the president’s efforts to to ramp up immigration arrests and crack down on sanctuary cities, announced his plans to retire in June.
April 10, 2018: Tom Bossert
The homeland security adviser resigned a day after John Bolton took over as national security adviser.
March 28, 2018: David Shulkin
The announcement of the Obama administration holdover’s departure came via tweet, after weeks of speculation about his fate.
March 22, 2018: H.R. McMaster
The departure of the national security adviser appeared to be amicable, with each releasing written statements thanking each other.
March 16, 2018: Andrew McCabe
The deputy director of the FBI was set to retire in just a matter of days when Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to fire him.
March 13, 2018: Rex Tillerson
After months of friction, the secretary of State was bumped from his position. According to a statement from the State Department, Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was not aware of the reason for his dismissal.
March 12, 2018: John McEntee
President Trump’s personal assistant was abruptly fired over what was described as security reasons.
March 6, 2018: Gary Cohn
The head of the National Economic Council announced plans to resign from the administration, amid a fierce internal debate over proposed tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum.
Feb. 28, 2018: Hope Hicks
The White House communications director announced her resignation and that she would be leaving in the coming weeks or months. She took on her role in August and has been one of Trump’s longest-serving aides.
Feb. 7, 2018: Rob Porter
Porter’s resignation as the White House staff secretary came after domestic abuse allegations against him were made public.
Dec. 13, 2017: Omarosa Manigault Newman
Newman, who rose to notoriety when she was on The Apprentice with Trump, was left her job in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison. She later denied that she had been fired or escorted from White House grounds, though the Secret Service did say it terminated her access.
Dec. 8, 2017: Dina Powell
Trump’s deputy national security adviser, who was a driving force behind the president’s Middle East policy, announced her plans to depart the administration in 2018, the White House announced in December.
Sept. 29, 2017: Tom Price
The Health and Human Services secretary resigned after revelations that he had racked up around $400,000 in private flights while traveling on official business.
Aug. 25, 2017: Sebastian Gorka
When the controversial counterterrorism adviser stepped down, he said Trump’s populist campaign agenda had been hijacked by establishment figures.
Aug. 18, 2017: Steve Bannon
The chief strategist, who had a turbulent time at the White House, left his post after pressure to remove him from his post following violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. For his part, Bannon said he resigned two weeks prior.
July 31, 2017: Anthony Scaramucci
The controversial communications director stepped down after 11 days on the job, the same day John Kelly took over as chief of staff.
July 28, 2017: Reince Priebus
In his six-month tenure, marked by staff infighting and political reversals, the chief of staff was often a target of Trump loyalists who said he had failed to help the president win congressional legislation.
July 25, 2017: Michael Short
The senior assistant press secretary, brought on by Priebus, resigned after Scaramucci said he was going to fire him for allegedly leaking to the press.
July 21, 2017: Sean Spicer
The press secretary’s tumultuous tenure, marked by standoffs with the press, culminated in his resignation when Trump went against his advice to hire Scaramucci as his new communications director.
July 6, 2017: Walter Shaub
The director of the Office of Government Ethics clashed repeatedly with the president before announcing his resignation.
May 18, 2017: Mike Dubke
Trump’s first communications director did not work on the Trump campaign and did not know Trump before his hire. He handed in his resignation after three months on the job.
May 9, 2017: James Comey
The White House initially said the FBI director’s firing was based on the Justice Department’s recommendation, over his handling of the Clinton email probe. Since then, Trump has said he had considered firing Comey even without that recommendation and has said the Russia investigation was on his mind when he made the decision.
May 5, 2017: Angella Reid
The chief usher was fired for unclear reasons; it is unusual for a chief usher to be dismissed and they typically hold their positions for several years and over a number of administrations.
Feb. 13, 2017: Michael Flynn
The national security adviser was mired in controversy after news reports surfaced that he had misled officials, including Vice President Pence, about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He resigned shortly afterward.
Jan. 30, 2017: Sally Yates
The acting attorney general, a holdover from the Obama administration, was dismissed after she refused to defend the first iteration of Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.