Price the latest in a string of high-profile Trump departures

Price the latest in a string of high-profile Trump departures
© Greg Nash

President Trump's administration saw its first departure of a Cabinet secretary on Friday with Health and Human Services (HHS) chief Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE resigning after uproar over his use of private planes for travel.

Price's departure is just the latest in a string of high-profile exits in the at-times tumultuous first nine months of Trump's presidency.


Here's a look a various other White House and and federal officials who have resigned or been fired in the Trump era.

Sally Yates 

Trump stoked controversy in the early days of his administration by firing Acting Attorney General Sally Yates in January after she refused to defend his administration's travel ban.

"My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," Yates said in a letter explaining her decision. 

"In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right," she continued. 

Yates, who was appointment by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day RNC targets McAuliffe, Biden campaign event with mobile billboard The real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit MORE, was informed of her dismissal in a letter.

Michael Flynn 

Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned in February after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Pence and other senior White House officials about his past conversations with Russian officials. 

“I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology,” Flynn wrote in his resignation letter, in which he blamed his resignation on the “fast pace of events” that led him to “inadvertently” give Pence and others “incomplete information” about his phone conversations with Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn has since become a major subject in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Preet Bharara

Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara was fired from his post as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in March after he refused to resign when the Trump administration asked 46 Obama-appointed federal prosecutors to step down.

Bharara has since taken on the role of a vocal Trump critic. 

He has started a podcast called “Stay Tuned with Preet,” which airs from WNYC Radio. 

James Comey 

Trump stirred controversy in May after he announced he had fired FBI Director James Comey for what he said was the director's mishandling of the federal probe into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 MORE's email server. 

Critics were quick to suspect Comey's firing was related to the ongoing probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling, which Comey was leading at the time.

The president later said in an interview with NBC News that the Russia probe was on his mind when he fired Comey. 

“When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,’ ” Trump said. 

Katie Walsh

Trump's former deputy chief of staff left the White House in late March to work at a pro-Trump group known as American First Policies. 

The departure of Walsh, who had previously worked for the Republican National Committee (RNC), came after Trump's first attempt to pass health-care reform through the House failed.

Then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Walsh left on her own accord. 

Mike Dubke 

The White House announced in May that the president's communications director Mike Dubke submitted his resignation amid rumors of a staff shakeup in the West Wing. 

Dubke, a veteran GOP operative, was hired in February to help restructure the communications shop, which was struggling to deal with a number of controversies early in the administration, including alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling. 

The former communications director reportedly said he felt like he wasn’t making progress with the president or his penchant for off-message tweets.

Walter Shaub 

Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Director Walter Shaub submitted his resignation letter to Trump in July, six months before the end of his term. 

"The great privilege and honor of my career has been to lead OGE’s staff and the community of ethics officials in the federal executive branch,” wrote Shaub, who served under Republican and Democratic administrations.

Shaub was a vocal critic of Trump, slamming his plan to separate himself from his business empire during a speech at the Brookings Institution before Trump's inauguration.

"The plan the president-elect has announced doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the last four decades have met," Shaub said. 

Sean Spicer 

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned in July in what was reported to be a reaction to the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. 

"It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August," Spicer said in a tweet. 

Spicer frequently clashed with reporters in his daily on-camera briefings, which drew huge audiences on cable television and became must-see television. He was also famously parodied by Melissa McCarthy on "Saturday Night Live." 

Spicer has since appeared on the prime-time Emmys and reportedly hired a lawyer in the Russia probe. 

Anthony Scaramucci 

Trump removed Scaramucci as White House communications director in July. Unlike his predecessor, who lasted three months as communications director, Scaramucci lasted just 10 days in the post after vowing to revamp the White House press shop. 

Scaramucci ripped then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, accusing of him of leaking to the press in a profane rant published in The New Yorker that took aim at several other members of Trump’s senior staff. 

The Wall Street financier was ousted the same day that retired Marine Gen. John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE assumed the role of White House chief of staff. 

Scaramucci's ouster was seen as an attempt by Kelly to bring order to a chaotic White House.

Michael Short 

Former White House press aide Michael Short resigned after then-communications director Anthony Scaramucci said in an interview with Politico that he would fire him for alleged involvement in West Wing leaks, however the termination was also seen a part of a purge directed at allies of then-chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Reince Priebus 

Trump pushed Priebus out as his chief of staff in July, replacing him with retired Gen. John Kelly after Priebus clashed with key Trump administration officials, including Scaramucci. 

Priebus had initially tried to block Scaramucci from another White House job, however Trump went ahead and hired the former hedge fund manager. 

Priebus served as the president's chief of staff for just 189 days, the shortest tenure of any White House chief of staff in history.

Derek Harvey

The White House said in July that senior Middle East adviser to the president Derek Harvey had left the administration, amid reports of disagreements on Iran. 

“[National security adviser] General [H.R.] McMaster greatly appreciates Derek Harvey’s service to his country as a career Army officer, where he served his country bravely in the field and played a crucial role in the successful surge in Iraq, and also for his service on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration,” spokesman Michael Anton said.

The Weekly Standard reported Harvey, who was hired by Flynn, was pushed out due to his closeness with then-chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon. 

Steve Bannon 

The White House announced in August that Trump's chief strategist and former campaign chairman Steve Bannon was departing the White House, in what was seen as another West Wing purge from Kelly. 

The White House said Bannon's departure date from the White House was "mutually agreed" on. 

Bannon returned to Breitbart as chairman of the right-wing news organization the same day of his exit, while pledging to continue fighting for Trump's agenda outside of the White House. 

Bannon and Trump were later on opposing sides of the Alabama Senate GOP primary, in which Bannon supported anti-establishment candidate Roy Moore and Trump endorsed establishment favorite Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangePandemic proves importance of pharmaceutical innovation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ala.). 

Sebastian Gorka 

White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka followed Bannon in August in leaving the White House, however it is unclear whether he left on his own accord.

The Federalist first reported a letter from Gorka to Trump, in which he announced his intention to resign. 

“[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House,” he wrote.

The White House disputed Gorka's claim that he resigned. 

Tom Price 

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday after becoming the subject of controversy over his use of private jets for government businesses. 

"I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first. I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives," Price wrote in his resignation letter, which Trump accepted. 

"Success on these issues is more important than any one person. In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation," he continued.

Trump had said shortly before the letter was released Friday that he was "not happy" with Price's use of private planes for official travel.