US & Canada

The White House revolving door: Who's gone?

Trump surrounded by former aides and Mike Pence Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Of the Trump aides pictured in this January photo, only Vice-President Mike Pence remains in his role

Steve Bannon is out.

The senior political strategist to the president is the latest casualty of the Trump White House, but of course, there is a long line of people behind him who have been fired or eased out of their jobs by President Donald Trump.

Here's a run-down of what they did, and why they left, starting with Steve Bannon.


Steve Bannon, chief strategist - 18 August

Steve Bannon joined the Trump campaign after leading the right-wing Breitbart News website, which rose to prominence through its attacks on mainstream Republicans, as well as those on the left.

The website helped to elevate the so-called "Alt-right", which critics label a white supremacist group.

Like other aides to Mr Trump, he made his fortune as an investment banker, but later turned to financing for film and television programmes such as the popular 90s sitcom Seinfeld.

Why was he sacked?

Some of Mr Trump's most influential advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, had been pushing for his departure for months.

Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly chats on the phone with Mr Trump once a week, has also allegedly been pushing for his dismissal.

His firing came amid a public backlash to Mr Trump's response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which an anti-racist protester was killed by a 20-year-old man with Nazi sympathies.

Days after the violence, Mr Bannon called a conservative news outlet to say that he was glad that Mr Trump's opponents were focused on race, and adding that the North Korean nuclear threat was a "sideshow".

Time in post?

Fired one year after being named campaign chief.


Anthony Scaramucci, communications director - 31 July

The brash, Wall Street big wig has known President Trump for years, and charismatically defended him in TV interviews.

Although he didn't last long in the job, he made big headlines.

He appeared to accuse Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of being responsible for White House leaks in a tweet (later deleted) that also appeared to threaten him.

Mr Scaramucci then attacked Mr Priebus and President Trump's senior adviser Steve Bannon in an expletive-filled rant on the phone with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine.

Why was he sacked?

Although he had boasted of reporting directly to the president, Mr Scaramucci's ill-discipline may have cost him any post alongside President Trump's new chief of staff - retired, four-star General John Kelly.

Mr Scaramucci's departure was announced hours after Mr Kelly was sworn-in to replace Mr Priebus.

The White House said Mr Trump believed comments Mr Scaramucci had made were "inappropriate".

Time in post?

Ten days. (Though his official start date was 15 August - so possibly minus-15 days.)


Reince Priebus, chief of staff - 28 July

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Priebus was unable to assert control in the White House

The former Republican National Committee chairman was one of few Washington veterans given a top role in the Trump White House but was unable to assert his authority.

He grappled with competing powers in an administration where Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, play key roles.

Mr Scaramucci was hired despite Mr Priebus's disagreement and insulted him seemingly without reproach from the president.

Why was he sacked?

President Trump lost confidence in him and clearly wanted a shake-up in the White House, opting for a general to replace the Republican Party operative, who was seen as weak.

The announcement also came as the Republicans failed in their efforts to repeal Obamacare in the Senate.

Time in post?

Six months.


Sean Spicer, press secretary - 21 July

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sean Spicer became a household name

Mr Spicer famously kicked off his tenure as White House press secretary by defending a seemingly indefensible claim about the crowd size at President Trump's inauguration.

Over the course of his time behind the podium, he became - unusually for a press secretary - a household name, and was parodied on Saturday Night Live.

Why did he leave?

Unlike most others on this list, Mr Spicer appears to have left on seemingly good terms with the president.

He stepped down after Mr Scaramucci was appointed to a role he had partially filled, saying he did not want there to be "too many cooks in the kitchen".

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had also taken over many of Mr Spicer's press briefings.

The New York Times reported that Mr Spicer had "vehemently" disagreed with the appointment of Mr Scaramucci, which he believed to be a "major mistake".

Time in post?

Six months.


James Comey, FBI director - 9 May

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The FBI director had been caught up in political controversy since October 2016

Mr Comey played a dramatic and controversial part in the closing stages of the election when he announced, a week before the vote, that the FBI had reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

He was criticised first by Democrats for the timing and alleged indiscretion of the announcement, then by Republicans when he said a week later that no charges would be brought. But Mr Trump praised the FBI director heavily, saying it "took a lot of guts" to make his announcement and that he had "brought back his reputation". He blew Mr Comey a kiss at the White House.

The president grew less appreciative of him as the FBI director led an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump administration first claimed Mr Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation rendered him no longer able to credibly lead the bureau and that Mr Trump had acted on the deputy attorney general's recommendation.

However Mr Trump soon contradicted this, calling him a "showboat" in a TV interview and saying he was thinking of the "Russia thing" when he made the decision to sack him.

Later it emerged that he allegedly told Russian officials that the dismissal had taken "great pressure" off him.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reported to be investigating whether obstruction of justice occurred.

Time in post?

Three years, eight months. Less than four months under Mr Trump.


Michael Flynn, national security adviser, 14 February

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Michael Flynn was the shortest serving national security adviser in history

Technically, Michael Flynn resigned, but he was asked to do so by the president. His departure followed weeks of deepening scandal in which it emerged that he had misled White House officials, including the vice-president, over his contact with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Mr Flynn is said to have discussed US sanctions against Russia with Mr Kislyak before Mr Trump took office.

Mr Trump was briefed on the possibility that Mr Flynn was open to blackmail, because Moscow knew he was lying, but 18 days elapsed before the president sacked him, raising questions about exactly what the president knew and when.

Why was he sacked?

It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy, and once it was established that Mr Flynn had lied about his contact with Mr Kislyak there was no question that he had to go. The question with this sacking was, why did it take so long?

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president needed the time to investigate Mr Flynn and establish his guilt, but the scandal prompted fierce speculation over what the president knew of Mr Flynn's contacts with Mr Kislyak.

Time in post?

23 days.


Sally Yates, acting attorney general, 31 January

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Yates warned the White House that Mr Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail

The president fired Sally Yates after she questioned the legality of Mr Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. Ms Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, believed it discriminated unconstitutionally against Muslims, and ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president's executive order.

Within hours, she was fired.

Why was she sacked?

A White House statement said Ms Yates had "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States". It also described her as "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration".

But it was also Ms Yates who informed White House counsel that Michael Flynn had misled the vice-president about his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak and presented a risk of Russian blackmail as a result.

The president's sacking of an Obama-era holdover who had openly defied him was certainly less controversial than the Comey dismissal, but it drew heavy criticism from Democrats, who said Ms Yates had done her job in standing up to the travel ban.

Time in post?

10 days.


Preet Bharara, New York federal prosecutor, 11 March

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Preet Bharara was initially asked, after the election, to remain in his post

It is not uncommon for prosecutors appointed by the previous administration to be replaced as the White House changes hands, but the widely-respected Preet Bharara had been told specifically by the Trump administration that he would be kept on.

Mr Bharara had built a reputation as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" after a number of aggressive prosecutions of traders.

At the time of his sacking, he was overseeing several high-profile cases, including an investigation into New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign finances and allegations of sexual harassment at Trump favourite Fox News.

Why was he sacked?

Mr Bharara was one of 46 prosecutors asked to resign by the Trump administration, which contended that it was part of a simple changing of the guard.

But there was speculation among Democrats and others that Mr Bahara's jurisdiction, which included Trump Tower, may have concerned the president. A few days before he was sacked, three ethics groups called on Mr Bharara in an open letter to investigate whether Trump companies in his jurisdiction had received foreign payments.

Meanwhile, a ProPublica investigation revealed that Mr Bharara was overseeing an investigation into stock trades by Mr Trump's incoming health secretary Tom Price.

Three Democratic senators wrote to attorney general Jeff Sessions asking him to investigate the Bharara sacking.

Time in post?

Seven years, seven months. Less than two under Mr Trump.


Paul Manafort, Trump campaign manager, 19 August 2016

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Questions were raised over Paul Manafort's ties to Russian interests

Paul Manafort, a long-time Republican political operative, was supposed to marshal some of the chaos around Mr Trump but ended up falling prey to it. He was sacked after five months with Mr Trump's campaign, three of those as campaign chair.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump campaign didn't give a reason for Mr Manafort's departure, issuing only a boilerplate statement wishing him well. But a wave of reports in the week before the announcement alleged that Mr Manafort had received secret cash payments from a pro-Russian political party for representing Russian interests in Ukraine and the US.

While Mr Manafort was running the campaign, the Republican Party changed the language in its manifesto regarding the conflict in Ukraine, removing anti-Russian sentiment, allegedly at the behest of two Trump campaign representatives.

Time in post?

Three months.