White House pushes back against rumors of exodus

19 March, 2018, 00:21 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Mercedes Schlapp

Asked if the former Exxon Mobil CEO could act as a mediator between the oil industry and the US Administration now that he left the top diplomatic post, Urquhart-Stewart reminded that Tillerson did not get on well with Trump.

Many close to Trump think more upheaval is coming soon.

The futures of Kelly and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin are also unclear.

An increasingly confident Trump is privately weighing still more changes, expressing frustration with certain advisers and sifting through possible replacements.

The previous year saw the departure of Trump's first national security advisor Michael Flynn - who lasted just 22 days in his post - as well as chief strategist Steve Bannon, who made it seven months, and Reince Priebus, who stayed in his job for less than six.

Multiple White House spokespeople did not return requests for comment from the Daily News.

Kelly has told confidants that he believes he can weather the current storm.

"That's exactly what we're doing and what we're focused on, and many of us have relayed that to staffers", she said.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about private conversations.




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.

Analysts wonder whether Israel might take a cue and adopt more provocative positions further increasing oil market jitters.

Kelly revealed the surprise anecdote in a room of reporters and senior Trump administration officials Friday.

Mr. Tillerson's sacking came less than two weeks after Mr. Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn quit in protest against the President's decision to levy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

John Kelly's unusual intervention came at the end of a week that saw the abrupt firing of Rex Tillerson and widespread speculation that national security adviser HR McMaster could be next.

Junior-level aides were particularly troubled by the abrupt exit this week of Mr Trump's personal assistant John McEntee, who was removed from his job and escorted off White House grounds - then quickly handed a job on Mr Trump's re-election campaign.

The president himself has said in recent days that there will always be change in his administration, and that he's still contemplating more moves.

Trump and McMaster were also in meetings together on Friday, the press secretary added.

McMaster did meet with President Trump at the White House on Friday.

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