White House


Reports: Major Purge May Be Coming To White House

March 15, 2018 - 4:57 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) -- Sources on Thursday said a shakeup that some are preemptively calling a purge could soon be coming to the White House.

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett reported that the purge could take down a chief of staff, a national security adviser, and up to three Cabinet secretaries. Garrett reported it all depends upon Trump’s volatile mood and replacements that are available and willing.

Earlier this week, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, announcing on Twitter that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would take his place.

Hours after Tillerson was let go, the White House also fired State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein who in an earlier statement to CBS News said, "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and the foreign ministers he has worked with throughout the world."

CBS News Correspondent Bill Rehkopf told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Thursday that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin could be on the chopping block.

“There’s been rumblings over the past couple of days that you know, something might be imminent, and there are some likely candidates that could be lined up here. You’re thinking about VA Secretary David Shulkin, who is a holdover from the Obama administration, and you know, has caused the president some displeasure with some of his travel arrangements and some of the other things that have gone on there,” Rehkopf said. “We’re being told now that these changes are not necessarily imminent, but he has certainly been a candidate for it.”

The VA inspector general determined in February that Shulkin used taxpayer dollars for a lavish trip to Europe for his wife, CBS News reported.

"It will be properly implemented, right David? It better be David, or (mouths "you're fired"). We'll never have to use those words on our David," Trump said at the time.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry could be in line to replace Shulkin, CBS News reported.

Chief of Staff John Kelly, who “angered the president with his comments about being punished by getting the job,” may also soon be out, but “there’s no sign that any of these things are imminent,” Rehkopf said.

CBS News also reported National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster may soon be gone and may be replaced by former Bush administration official and frequent Fox News analyst John Bolton. Bolton is a hawk on Iran and North Korea much like Pompeo, CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe is already set to retire this weekend, but there may be other plans in store for him, Rehkopf said.

“Now, (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions deciding whether to fire him ahead of his retirement over some leaks to the press,” he said.

Sources also told CBS News that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson could be in jeopardy after ordering a $31,000 dining room set for his office that was later canceled.