POLITICS
03/01/2018 05:20 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2018

The Growing List Of Trump Administration Departures Will Make Your Head Spin

A revolving door never spun so fast.

When White House Communications Director Hope Hicks resigned on Wednesday, she was only the the latest of a series of high-profile departures from President Donald Trump’s administration.

She’s also the fourth person to vacate that specific role in a little more than a year, following Anthony Scaramucci, Sean Spicer, and Mike Dubke. It’s not unusual to have some turnover after a president’s first year in office, but this White House’s revolving door is far more active than any recent administration. 

Here’s a partial round-up of those who’ve left ― either gracefully or with an escort ― since Trump took office.

Michael Flynn ― National Security Adviser

Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned last February following revelations about conversations he had with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn has since been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. In December, he pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian government.

Mike Dubke ― Communications Director

Mike Dubke served as Trump’s communications director for three months between February and May, 2017 before his resignation. He wasn’t an especially public figure, rarely appearing on television or talking to reporters on the record. 

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer became the subject of a widely-popular spoof on SNL.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer became the subject of a widely-popular spoof on SNL.

Sean Spicer ― White House Press Secretary and Communications Director

Spicer became one of the most ridiculed members of the Trump White House during his tenure as press secretary, including several notable spoofs on Saturday Night Live that made his lectern antics household knowledge. He abruptly resigned last July.

Reince Priebus ― Chief of Staff

Reince Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, spent a little more than six months as White House chief of staff before he quietly submitted his resignation. Priebus continually butted heads with other powerful voices in the West Wing, including then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and the short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

Then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, took over the role in July.

Anthony Scaramucci ― Communications Director

Scaramucci served in the White House for a mere 10 days after joining the administration. His tenure was heaped in controversy, including a profanity-laced interview with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza. As the gregarious Long Island native’s departure was announced, Trump sent out a tweet reading “No WH chaos!”

Steve Bannon's comments in a book about the Trump administration launched a high-profile feud with the president.
Carlos Barria / Reuters
Steve Bannon's comments in a book about the Trump administration launched a high-profile feud with the president.

Steve Bannon ― Chief Strategist

Former Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon, once considered an untouchable confidant of the president, left the White House last August after spending the first half of the year helping shape Trump’s “America First” agenda. While the administration wished him the best at the time, he quickly became a political pariah after a very public feud with the president centering around quotes in a book where he declared actions by Donald Trump Jr. as “treasonous.”

The fallout was swift and far-reaching, and Bannon was ousted from his role at Brietbart in January, though GQ reported earlier this week that he still spends time at the company’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Tom Price ― Health and Human Services Secretary

Price resigned following a firestorm over his extravagant use of private and military planes for official travel. A series of flights cost American taxpayers more than $1 million, according to Politico, and despite his attempts to quash the controversy, he resigned the post a week after the expenses were first disclosed.

Omarosa Manigault Newman ― Director of Communications, Office of Public Liaison

Newman, a former reality television star who first rose to fame on “The Apprentice,” resigned from her role in December “to pursue other opportunities.” Her sudden departure was followed by reports that she was escorted from the property, although she has maintained that she resigned and was not fired.

She went on to criticize the Trump administration during an appearance on “Celebrity Big Brother” and even said she wouldn’t vote for the president again “in a million years.”

Newman has used her time post-White House to blast the Trump administration in various television appearances.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Newman has used her time post-White House to blast the Trump administration in various television appearances.

Sebastian Gorka ―Deputy Assistant 

Gorka was an early addition to the administration after having served as an adviser during Trump’s presidential campaign. He quickly became one of the most vocal defenders of Trump’s policies, including the controversial travel ban.

Gorka, a U.K. native with alleged ties to an anti-Semitic Hungarian group, left his White House job in August. He claimed he resigned from the role, but an unnamed administration official suggested in a statement to multiple media outlets that he was either fired or forced out.

Rob Porter ― Staff Secretary

Porter left the White House under a cloud of controversy after two of his ex-wives said that he had physically and emotionally abused them. The former staff secretary was able to serve in the White House for months with an interim security clearance that allowed him to view some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets, even though the claims of abuse had stalled his FBI background check.

The revelations have prompted Chief of Staff John Kelly to revamp security clearance procedures, and 30 top aides were recently stripped of their own interim clearances, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Hope Hicks ― Communications Director

Hicks’ resignation marks the departure of one of Trump’s most trusted advisors. The enigmatic 29-year-old has worked for the president for years, despite having no previous political experience.

She recently spoke with Mueller as part of his ongoing probe, and reportedly said she sometimes tells “white lies” for the president. CNN reported on Wednesday that comments made by Hicks in 2016, just days after Trump was elected, have been the subject of questions by the special counsel.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated Mueller is looking into comments Hicks made after Trump’s inauguration. In fact, the comments were made shortly after Election Day.

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