When President Trump fired national security advisor H.R. McMaster, the move reportedly disrupted a larger plan to oust Ben Carson and others, according to Politico.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary was reportedly set to be fired in “at least another week” along with McMaster and Department of Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin. But the president’s decision to announce McMaster’s firing disrupted that plan, Politico reported, citing “two senior administration officials.”
White House chief of John Kelly was attempting to orchestrate an all-in-one firing after inspectors general finished their probes into Shulkin and Carson’s departments; the HUD secretary has come under fire in recent weeks amid the attempted purchase of a $31,000 dining room set and the resignation of the department’s chief information officer after charges of corruption.
“Trump, however, upended those plans late Thursday, firing McMaster and offering his job to former U.N. ambassador John Bolton in a moved that surprised not only his top advisors — but also Bolton himself,” Politico reporter Eliana Johnson wrote.
The publication could not confirm that Carson and Shulkin were definitely the officials on Trump’s chopping block, and Carson’s representatives didn’t reply to a request for comment. Johnson also cited administration officials who expressed concerns about firing the housing secretary because he’s the only black member of the Trump cabinet.
Carson again faced harsh lines of questioning over spending at HUD before a Senate committee this week, with Sen. Sherrod Brown — an Ohio Democrat — telling Carson that he wasn’t sure he made the right decision when he voted to confirm the former neurosurgeon’s nomination.
Earlier in the week, Carson praised recent changes to the reverse mortgage program, saying the steps that HUD has taken under his leadership “stemmed the tide in terms of the disaster that was occurring there.”
Written by Alex Spanko