People & Money

85% of Trump Senior Officials Left: The Departees

Following the storming of the United States Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on January 6, multiple White House officials resigned overnight, protesting Trump’s continuing fueling of right-wing outrage with the claim that the November 2020 election was rigged. This is only a new wave of resignations. Dismissals and resignations have been par for the course in the Trump administration. 

As of April 2020, 85% of Trump’s A-Team officials [key decision makers] had left their jobs, setting a record for departures from the White House. Ranging from personal disagreements with Trump’s policies to reactions to public humiliation by the president, White House officials have right from the beginning of President Trump’s tenure left for various reasons. The following is a list of staffers who have departed Trump’s White House.  

John F. Kelly [White House Chief of Staff] – January 2, 2019

Replacing the ousted Reince Priebus, Kelly himself did not have much luck in the position as he resigned within less than two years of taking the position. He cited difficulty working with Trump as the reason for the departure.

Mick Mulvaney [United States Envoy to Northern Ireland] – January 7, 2021

Mulvaney, who had been bounced around different positions in the Trump administration, finally tendered his resignation following the incident at the Capitol, saying “I can’t do it. I can’t stay.”

Katie Walsh [Principal Deputy Chief of Staff] – March 30, 2017

After just three months in office, Walsh resigned from her position to run the America First Policies, a pro-Trump group whose leadership had failed to help the administration secure a much-needed health bill passage. 

Joe Hagin [Deputy Chief of Staff] – July 6, 2018

A veteran who had played key roles in the administrations of past presidents like Ronald Reagan, George H.W Bush, and George Bush, Hagin left the Trump administration with no controversy trailing him. Trump had nothing but kind words, calling him a “huge asset to my administration”.

Also Read: Manufacturers Asked Trump to Quit After Capitol Chaos

Daniel Walsh [Director of White House Military Office] – November 26, 2019

Despite being one of the most loyal Trump officials, Walsh eventually left the White House after accepting a job offer from the private sector.

Rick Dearborn [Deputy Chief of Staff – Policy] – March 16, 2018

Like Walsh, Dearborn left to seek employment in the private sector after sticking with Trump since the early post-inauguration days.

Steve Bannon [Chief Strategist] – August 18, 2017

Following a turbulent stint at the White House, Trump’s one-time right-hand man increasingly became a liability to his administration. From openly contradicting Trump to being discredit by the president in the media, his exit was imminent. He finally left in August 2017.

Kellyanne Conway [Counselor to the President] – August 24, 2020 

Conway, a long-time fervent Trump supporter, left her position following the controversies that trailed her position in the White House and its effects on her family. Her resignation was announced only hours after her 15-year-old daughter tweeted that Conway’s job had “ruined [her] life”. 

Johnny DeStefano [Director of the Office of Public Liaison] – May 21, 2019

Having held four positions in the Trump administration, DeStefano left to join the private sector, taking a job with e-cigarette company, Juul.

Kara McKee [Adviser to the President on Domestic Policy] – August 1, 2018

After a White House stint that saw her work directly with Ivanka Trump, McKee left her position to pursue an MBA at the University of Chicago.

Scott Atlas [Special Advisor to the President on COVID-19] – November 30, 2020

During a tenure that saw him follow Trump’s lead in attacking scientific facts and ridiculing public health measures, Atlas built for himself a very unpopular profile that caused 78 of his former colleagues at the Stanford Medical School to sign an open letter criticizing him. He eventually resigned.

Joe Grogan [Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council] – May 24, 2020

Grogan left the White House following reports about his clash with another high-ranking official. However, he claimed he left entirely of his own accord, saying he had only planned to hold the position for two years and was already in his fourth year.

Dina Powell [Deputy National Security Adviser] – January 12, 2018

A key player in America’s diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, Powell only planned to hold office for one year. She left exactly after that.

Nadia Schadlow [Deputy National Security Adviser] – April 27, 2018

Schadlow was one of the top officials whose jobs were at stake when John Bolton came into the White House.  She eventually resigned with little explanation given as to why.

Bill McGinley [Cabinet Secretary] – July 2019 

Despite staying out of the kind of controversy that trailed most other top White House officials, McGinley eventually went the way of others before him and tendered his resignation after over two years in office.

Carl Ichan [Special Adviser to the President on Regulatory Reform] – August 18, 2017 

Billionaire investor, Ichan, stepped down from his role in the administration due to a conflict of interests. He refused to formally accept a government job but was still holding a position while running his business. To resolve the conflict, he resigned.

Reed Cordish [Assistant to the President on Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives] – February 16, 2018

Trump’s tech adviser left his role in the White House after a little more than a year in office, saying he never planned to stay longer than that.

George David Banks [Special Assistant to the President on International Energy and Environmental Policy] – February 14, 2018

Banks resigned after realizing he would not be able to get a security clearance in the White House because of his history of marijuana use.

Ben Howard [Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Affairs] – January 2018

Howard left the White House for the Capitol where he assumed the position of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s floor director.

Grace Koh [Special Assistant to the President
(Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security Policy] – March 2018

Like many others, Koh left for the private sector as she joined the DLA Piper law firm.

Michael Flynn [National Security Advisor] – February 13, 2017

Holding the office for less than a month, Flynn’s tenure was the shortest in history. He resigned after intelligence leaks revealed he had tried to cover up the content of his communication with the Russian ambassador to the US.

H.R McMaster [National Security Advisor] – April 9, 2018

Flynn’s replacement did not last long either, resigning just a little over a year after taking up the mantle. His difficult relationship with Trump was credited with the decision.

John Bolton [National Security Advisor] – September 10, 2019

The White House strongman was himself shown the way out after Trump asked him to resign as a result of multiple disagreements over the administration’s foreign policy involving Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan. 

Matthew Pottinger [Deputy National Security Advisor] – January 6, 2021

Alongside many others in the administration, he resigned following the storming of the Capitol building.

Tom Bossert [Homeland Security Advisor] – April 10, 2018

He resigned after John Bolton came in as National Security Advisor, with Bolton making plans to clean house and replace many officials with his people.

Rob Porter [White House Staff Secretary] – February 7, 2018 

Porter resigned following domestic abuse allegations by both of his ex-wives.

Sean Spicer [Press Secretary] – July 21, 2017 

Spicer left the White House as his role in the administration increasingly went from top official to background player. 

Michael Dubke [Director of Communications] – June 2, 2017

He resigned amidst a staff shakeup in the administration.

Also Read: In Joint Letter, 164 New York Businessmen Urge Trump to Cede Power to Biden

Anthony Scaramucci [Director of Communications] – July 31, 2017

Despite his presence in the White House expected to signal a significant change, Scaramucci did not last in the position at all as he had the shortest tenure in history, resigning unexpectedly within six days of his appointment. 

Hope Hicks [Director of Communications] – March 29, 2018

Hicks resigned after admitting to Congress that she had told white lies to defend the Trump administration.

Alyssa Farah [Director of Strategic Communications] – December 4, 2020

She resigned after strong disagreements with the administration’s response to the electoral defeat to Joe Biden.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders [Press Secretary] – June 30, 2019

After years of being the face of the administration and gaining notoriety in the media for her many falsehoods, Sanders left the White House in one of the few amicable exits.

Sarah Matthews [Deputy Press Secretary] – January 6, 2021 

She resigned following the 2021 storming of the US Capitol.

Paul Winfree [Director of Budget Policy] – December 2017

He joined many staff members in resigning after a year of working with Trump. He returned to the private sector.

Gary Cohn [Director of the National Economic Council] – March 13, 2018 

The former Goldman Sachs chair’s decision to leave the White House came on the heels of the president’s decision to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports which he was firmly against.

George Sifakis [Director of the Office of Public Liaison] – September 25, 2017 

Sifakis’s office was one of the six Tier One positions that recorded a turnover within the first year of the administration.

Omarosa Newman Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison – January 20, 2018

In one of the most dramatic exits in the administration’s history, Newman’s departure was a media sensation. She and John Kelly were in the news arguing over whether she willingly resigned or was forced out of the White House. She was accused of having “money and integrity issues”.  In 2018, she published a tell-all titled “Unhinged”, detailing her time at the White House and creating a PR nightmare for the administration.

Keith Schiller [Director of Oval Office Operations] – September 20, 2017

Another member of staff forced out by a clash with John Kelly, Schiller chose to resign after Kelly reportedly denied him direct access to the president.

Don McGahn [White House Counsel] – October 17, 2018

McGahn left his position after helping Trump secure the confirmation vote that installed Brett Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court.

Emmet Flood [White House Counsel] – December 10, 2018

McGahn’s replacement did not last two months in the position. However, Flood’s tenure was not expected to be lengthy as he had only come on board apparently to help with the controversial Robert Mueller investigation.

Ty Cobb [White House Special Counsel] – May 2018

While the reason for Cobb’s departure is unknown, it has been speculated that it had to do with his and Trump’s divergent opinions on how to deal with the Mueller probe.

John M. Dowd [Personal Attorney for President Trump] – March 22, 2018 

Dowd left amidst a shakeup in the White House’s legal team. He cited Trump’s disregard for his legal advice as his reason for leaving.

Marc Kasowitz [Legal Advisor to the President] – July 20, 2017

Amidst the Russia election meddling probe, Kasowitz left his post as lead attorney in the case.

David Sorensen [White House Speechwriter] – February 9, 2018 

Sorensen resigned after his ex-wife went public with allegations of domestic abuse during their marriage. Despite his denial, he had to leave to avoid the controversy spilling into the White House.

Ronny Jackson [Physician to the President] – March 28, 2018

Following allegations he was falsifying Trump’s medical records to make the president appear healthier than he was, Jackson could not shake off the controversy that trailed his career afterward. He later resigned to avoid the distraction.

Stephen A. Schwarzman [Chairman of the Strategic and Policy Forum] – August 16, 2017 

Schwarzman left his position following harassment he got from the public over Trump’s racist Charlottesville comments.

Neomi Rao [Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] – March 18, 2019

Rao left her post to become a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Suzette Kent [Chief Information Officer] – July 2020 

Kent left amicably after over two years of service.

Kevin Hassett [Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers] – June 28, 2019 

Hasset left his post almost two years into his service, noting that his decision to leave had nothing to do with his relationship with the president or anyone else in the administration.

Tomas J. Phillipson [Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers]- June 24, 2020

His abrupt departure amidst an economic crisis led to speculations about the Trump administration having trouble keeping its staff.

Tyler Goodspeed [Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers] – January 6, 2021

The third person to hold this position and the last to stick to the end, Goodspeed eventually resigned following the incident at the Capitol building.

Jason Greenblatt [Special Representative for International Negotiations] – October 3, 2019

Greenblatt left the post after nearly three years, saying he had overstayed in office considering he had only planned to be there for two years.

Ron Sanders [Special Chairman of the Federal Salary Council] – October 26, 2020 

Sanders resigned less than a year into office over Trump’s signing of an Executive Order that stripped federal protection from key officials.

Rickie Niceta [White House Social Secretary] – January 6, 2021

After nearly four years of sticking loyally with the administration, she had had enough. She resigned on January 6 in reaction to the storming of the Capitol building.

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