Turnover in the Trump White House: A timeline

Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Friday became the latest White House official to depart the Trump administration, ending a tumultuous and often rocky tenure for the populist firebrand.

Bannon’s dismissal signaled growing influence for Trump’s recently appointed chief of staff John Kelly, who has sought in recent weeks to bring order to a White House consumed by controversy, leaks and infighting.

In leaving his White House role, Bannon joined a bevy of former officials that have either been forced out of or resigned from President Trump’s embattled administration over the past seven months. 


Here’s a look at some of the major personnel shakeups in Trump’s first seven months in office:

February 13: Michael Flynn resigns

Trump’s first national security adviser stepped down from his top White House role just 24 days after taking office.

His ouster came after it was revealed that Flynn had misled Vice President Pence about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office.

Trump defended the former national security adviser days after his resignation, telling reporters in a news conference that Flynn is “a wonderful man” who had “been treated very, very unfairly by the media.”

Flynn has emerged as a central figure in the ongoing investigations into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

He was replaced in April by current national security adviser H.R. McMaster.


May 30: Michael Dubke steps down

Trump’s first communications director had tendered his resignation on May 18, but stayed on at the White House until the end of the month while the president was away on his first trip abroad since taking office.

Dubke, a GOP communications veteran, had been hired in February to helm the White House’s struggling press operation as it faced mounting controversies. 

But Dubke remained a relative outsider in Trump’s White House, having no prior ties to the president or his inner circle. Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer stepped in after Dubke’s resignation to fill the communications director role.


July 21: Anthony Scaramucci appointed communications director, Spicer resigns

In naming Scaramucci his communications director, Trump elevated to the White House one of his most ardent media defenders.

But Scaramucci’s appointment immediately prompted Spicer, who had been filling in as Trump’s communications director since May, to resign.

That same day, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who had been serving as Trump’s deputy press secretary, was tapped to replace Spicer. 


July 25: Michael Short resigns

Short, a White House press aide, resigned after Scaramucci indicated in an interview with Politico that he planned to fire him over alleged leaks. 

In the wake of Short’s resignation, Scaramucci expressed frustration over the news that he had planned to fire the press aide – even though he revealed that plan himself.

“The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic,” Scaramucci told reporters.


July 28: Reince Priebus is replaced by John Kelly

Priebus’s future as Trump’s chief of staff had long been in question.

News of his ouster became public last month after Trump announced via Twitter that he had chosen former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as his new chief of staff.

In the days leading up to Priebus’ departure, Scaramucci railed against the former Republican National Committee chairman, making clear that he wanted him out. 

Priebus quietly resigned on July 27, before Trump announced his replacement the following day.


July 31: Scaramucci is fired

Scaramucci’s tenure in the White House was short-lived. In a turbulent 10 days in office, the Wall Street financier vowed to weed out leakers, disparaged other aides and engaged in a profanity-laced interview with the New Yorker, in which he called former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus a “f—ing paranoid schizophrenic.”

He was dismissed late last month, shortly after former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly became Trump’s new chief of staff.

Hope Hicks, a longtime aide to Trump, was named interim communications director this week.


August 18: Bannon departs

Just over a year after he left his job at the helm of Breitbart News, Bannon left his role as Trump’s chief strategist on Friday.

Bannon had emerged as a controversial figure within the White House and feuded often with the president’s other aides, including McMaster and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The exact nature of Bannon’s departure remains unclear. He said Friday in an interview with the conservative Weekly Standard that he had chosen to resign. But the former chief strategist was also said to have been on thin ice with Trump recently.

Within hours of his departure, Bannon had rejoined Breitbart as the news outlet’s executive chair. 

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