Trump to remove McMaster as national security adviser: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE has reportedly decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser.

The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Trump is discussing potential replacements for McMaster, but is willing to take his time in removing him to ensure there is a strong successor.


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back on the report, saying "there are no changes" at the National Security Council.

“Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster — contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC,” she tweeted.

Rumors of McMaster’s exit have swirled in recent weeks, though the White House earlier this month refuted reports his ouster was imminent.

McMaster, a three-star Army general, has had public disagreements with Trump over issues ranging from Iran to Russia.

The president rebuked his national security adviser last month after McMaster said evidence that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election was “incontrovertible.” 

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted.

Thursday's report on McMaster’s looming departure, which cited five sources, come two days after Trump announced on Twitter that he was ousting Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonStumbling US diplomacy flattens Washington's influence curve Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship MORE.

The president has nominated CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe new war for soft power hegemony Organizing evacuations during a shutdown The Saudi-Russia oil fight is the last thing the economy needs in a pandemic MORE to replace the nation's top diplomat, while nominating CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency.

Trump's abrupt firing of Tillerson and conflicting signals from the White House about other potential staff moves have put Washington on edge about who else Trump may fire.

Removing McMaster would put Trump in the position of having to select his third national security adviser since taking office.

His first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired weeks into his tenure last year after misleading White House officials about his contacts with Russians.

Updated at 10:22 p.m.