Trump made a decision to sack McMaster, says report

President Donald Trump has chose to fire his National Security Advisor Lt. Gen HR McMaster and is scouting to find a replacement before the planned high-profile North Korea meetings, according to U.S. media reports.

A reporter, in the wake of the president firing Rex Tillerson and continued rumors of pending shakeups, told Sanders, "we're hearing a lot from staff behind the scenes saying they're on edge, people are anxious, they don't know what's happening in terms of staffing exits, firings". McMaster is Trump's second national security adviser after Michael Flynn was dismissed a year ago for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US. "Congratulations to all!" Trump added in a tweet. One source said McMaster's departure could come as soon as Friday, while others said that is unlikely. A campaign supporter of Trump's, Pompeo developed a strong personal relationship with the president by regularly attending his daily intelligence briefing.

The reality, though, is that Trump is fueling much of this revolving door discussion by talking openly - and often - with friends and associates outside the West Wing.

The president and McMaster have disagreed on a number of issues - including the Iran deal and the USA approach to North Korea - and the national security adviser has also clashed with Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the officials.

The president also recently told an ally that he was still frustrated by an interview that Kelly gave to Fox News almost two months ago in which he suggested that Trump had "evolved" in his thinking about the need for a wall on the Mexican border. And Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, under fire for ethics violations, appears to be grasping to keep his job.

Trump chafes at McMaster's demeanor, complaining that his aide lectures him, according to three current and former administration officials. Some individuals whose names have been floated for open positions have even phoned cable news hosts who are known to regularly speak with Trump, hoping that they can put a good word in with the President.

As his aides sought to tamp down rumors that a staff shake-up was imminent Friday, the President watched the build up play out on television with barely contained glee, an administration official said.

White House aides initially claimed that Kelly had called Tillerson last Friday, interrupting a night's sleep in Africa to let him know the president planned to relieve him of duty.

Trump told advisers Thursday that the chief of staff was "100% safe", a White House official confirms to CNN.

Kelly has told confidants that he believes he can weather the current storm and that he does not plan to quit.

  • Marlene Weaver