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Falling like ninepins: A list of bureaucrats fired by US President Donald Trump

James Comey was leading the probe into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the election.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 06, 2017, 12.28 AM IST
Anthony Scaramucci was fired from his post because President unhappy over his interview to a New Yorker reporter where he used profanity against his White House colleagues.
Anthony Scaramucci was fired from his post because President unhappy over his interview to a New Yorker reporter where he used profanity against his White House colleagues.
In what brings back memories of Donald Trump’s long-running show The Apprentice on NBC where participants faced his famous phrase “You’re fired”, bureaucrats in the US president’s administration too are falling like ninepins, being sacked or forced to resign. Here’s a list of some of them:

1) Who: Sally Caroline Yates, lawyer and federal prosecutor in Georgia before being appointed as US Attorney in 2015 and later US Deputy Attorney General by then president Barack Obama. She was acting US attorney general When fired

When: January 30, 2017

Why: Ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce Trump's controversial immigration ban. White House said she had “betrayed” the department by refusing to enforce a legal order that was “designed to protect the citizens of the US”

2) Who: Angella Reid, White House chief usher

When: Fired on May 5 by the White House administration in an abrupt fashion: she was told When she arrived for work that holding the job

Why: Appointed by Obama and a loyalist, she was the second African-American to hold the position. Replaced by Timothy Harleth, former employee of Trump International Hotel

3) Who: Michael Short, White House assistant press secretary

When: July 25

Why: Resigned after former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that he would be fired on suspicions of leaks to the media

4) Who: Anthony Scaramucci, White House communications director, former Wall Street financier

When: Sacked on August 1, 10 days after appointment

Why: President unhappy over his interview to a New Yorker reporter where he used profanity against his White House colleagues. Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and spokesman Sean Spicer both left their post When he was appointed. New Chief of Staff John Kelly said to have sacked him.

5) Who: James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

When: May 9, 2017

Why: He was leading the probe into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the election. In his termination letter, Trump said that the dismissal was based on recommendation of the attorney general and deputy attorney general

6) Who: Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, member of high-profile economic advisory council formed by Trump in December

When: Resigned on June 1

Why: Soon after Trump made the decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, Tesla CEO Elon Musk left the president's economic advisory council. He was, in any case, a surprise addition to the advisory body and had pledged to leave if the US exited the Paris pact

7) Who: Craig Deare, a Trump appointee to head National Security Council's western hemisphere division

When: February 19

Why: Fired following criticism in a private speech of Trump's policies and his inner circle of advisers

8) Who: Sean Spicer, White House press secretary and experienced Republican

When: Resigned on July 21 after a controversial stint on the job

Why: Because Scaramucci, Who he felt was a Wall Street trader with no political credentials or experience in handling media, was appointed as White House communications director. But Spicer is not changing his plans to continue in White House till late August and then exiting

9) Who: Mike Flynn, a retired US Army lieutenant-general and Trump’s national security adviser

When: Resigned on February 13, after less than a month on the job.

Why: Controversy over his contacts in Russia and lying about the nature of his conversations with a Russian ambassador

10) Who: Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, member of Trump’s advisory council

When & Why: Same as Musk, left after US exited the Paris climate accord

11) Who: Derek Harvey, Middle East expert and National Security Council member

When: July 27

Why: Fired by National Security Adviser HR McMaster over differences

12) Who: Reince Priebus, earlier Republican National Committee chairman and White House chief of staff for six months

When: Resigned privately on July 28; replaced by John F Kelly, the secretary of homeland security and retired four-star Marine general

Why: Defeat of Republican health bill in the Senate and the appointment of Scaramucci as communications director

The Indian-Americans

1) Who: Preet Bharara, Indian American lawyer Who served as US attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Was a prominent prosecutor Who became famous for taking on Wall Street corruption

When: March 11

Why: He was sacked after he refused to resign When Jeff Ses sions issued an order that all 46 Obama-appointed prosecutors immediately

2) Who: Richard Verma, US ambassador to India

When: Tenure in New Delhi ended on January 20

Why: Trump’s transition team asked all political appointees of former president Obama to quit before the inauguration of the new team. While this is the usual practice, there have been instances of diplomats holding office till their replacements are found. Verma was not a career diplomat and has now joined Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service as SFS Centennial Fellow. So far, the US ambassador to India’s office remains vacant with MaryKay Loss Carlson having stepped in as chargé d'affaires

3) Who: Nisha Desai Biswal, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs in US Department of State from 2014 to 2017

When: Resigned after the new government took over

Why: In line with the US convention of political appointees of the previous government moving on. This position too remains vacant after her exit. The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, headed by Acting Assistant Secretary Alice G Wells, deals with US foreign policy and US relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Who Next?

1) Jeff Sessions: President Trump is apparently looking at the possibility of firing the attorney general. He has attacked him many times on Twitter for his “very weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes” and has even said that he wouldn’t have appointed Sessions if he had known that the attorney general would recuse himself from the Russia investigation

2) Rex Tillerson, secretary of state, too has lately sparked resignation rumours with talks of his frustration with the White House administration and the president’s scathing attacks on Jeff Sessions

Going Going Gone: In UK

1) Who: George Osborne, chancellor of exchequer

When: After Theresa May took over as PM following the Brexit vote last July

Why: He was removed by the new PM Who wanted to distance herself from the administration of the previous government under David Cameron

2) Who: Lord Michael Heseltine, former Conservative deputy PM and government adviser

When: March 2017, after government suffered second parliamentary defeat on Brexit in one week

Why: Strongly opposed to Brexit and led a rebellion in House of Lords on the issue

3) Who: Nick Timothy & Fiona Hill, May's close aides and chiefs of staff

When: After the UK elections in June

Why: They were blamed for the results in which the Tories didn’t get a clear majority to form government

In India Resigned, Not Sacked

1) Who: Raghuram Rajan, RBI governor

When: It was announced in June last year that Rajan would not continue in office When his three-year term ended on September 4

Why: A UPA appointee, maybe the Establishment weren't too happy with him

2) Who: Arvind Panagariya, vice president, Niti Aayog

When: He announced on August 1 that he would leave the think tank on August 31

Why: He said he is “moving back to academia” as Columbia University, US, could not extend his public service leave, which is granted for two years
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