The White House counsel’s office has advised President TrumpDonald TrumpTop Trump aide Derek Lyons to leave White House this month Judge rules Trump Org must turn over documents to NY AG as part of probe Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s registering Democrat MORE against firing FBI Director Christopher Wray, warning of potential legal consequences for the move, NBC News reported.
Administration lawyers reportedly told the president the move would make explicit that he expected the personal loyalty of anyone appointed to the position, adding that it could create a ripple effect similar to the 2017 dismissal of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySenate GOP warns Biden against picking Sally Yates as attorney general Trump’s self-pardon would clash with his impeachment The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Mastercard – Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates MORE, which led to the appointment of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting MORE.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone and other White House attorneys have also told the president the firing would likely be viewed as retaliation for Wray’s failure to announce investigations the president has called for into his political enemies, according to NBC News.
The report comes after Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTop Trump aide Derek Lyons to leave White House this month Barr exit hints at further tumult under Trump Barr goes out with a ‘love letter’ to Trump MORE resigned Monday, saying he would depart his position next week. Trump expressed his frustration with the attorney general for weeks over both his pushback on the president’s evidence-free claims of widespread voter fraud and his decision not to make public a federal probe into President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDeVos urges Education Dept. staff to ‘resist’ when Biden takes office LGBTQ groups celebrate Buttigieg pick for Transportation secretary Biden administration needs bipartisan solutions for older Americans, lawmakers say MORE’s son Hunter Biden before the election.
A senior administration official told NBC that, despite the advice, it remains a possibility that the president will fire Wray or other officials in the final weeks of his presidency.
“I wouldn’t take anything off the table in coming weeks,” the official said, adding that “some more fairly significant terminations in the national security or intelligence community” were likely between now and January.
The official said Trump has also considered dismissing acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfDHS to begin accepting new DACA applications following court order Appeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA, accept new applicants MORE, holding him responsible for former cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs declaring the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” Trump fired Krebs soon after the remarks.
CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelPentagon withdrawing support from CIA counter-terrorism efforts: report Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint A strong, committed intelligence community is part of America’s good fortune MORE, meanwhile, began removing personal items from her office after Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperBarr to step down as attorney general Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon advisory panel Five things to know about Lloyd Austin, Biden’s Pentagon pick MORE in November, according to NBC.
“If the president doesn’t have confidence in someone he will let you know,” White House spokesman Judd DeereJudd DeereTrump mulling extravagant White House exit to upstage Biden inauguration: report Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report Trump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period MORE told NBC. “We have no personnel announcements at this time.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.