President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence’s chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE plans to fire several top officials in the national security sphere should he win reelection in November, Axios reported Sunday.
The president plans to fire Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Biden nets military family endorsements | Final debate features North Korea exchange | Judge refuses to dismiss sexual assault case against top general Israel signals it won’t oppose F-35 sale to UAE Our troops in the Sinai are a small force with outsized importance MORE, CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelFormer Trump campaign adviser named to senior role at CIA: report CIA letting less intelligence on Russia reach Trump: report Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray, two people familiar with his decisionmaking told the news outlet. White House officials declined to comment on personnel matters.
“We have no personnel announcements at this time nor would it be appropriate to speculate about changes after the election or in a 2nd term,” White House spokesman Judd DeereJudd DeereTrump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel White House and Twitter deny Dutch researcher’s claim he accessed Trump’s account Trump to vote early in Florida on Saturday MORE told Axios.
One source close to Haspel added that the CIA director is considering leaving on her own, telling Axios, “Since the beginning of DNI’s push to declassify documents, and how strongly she feels about protecting sources connected to those materials, there have been rumblings around the agency that the director plans to depart the CIA regardless of who wins the election.”
News of Trump’s latest possible targets for firing comes just days after The Washington Post reported that the president had recently discussed firing Wray in conversations with White House advisers.
The Post reported last week that the president has grown incensed with Wray in recent weeks due to the FBI director’s refusal to open a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, a late-in-the-game announcement that would likely upend the presidential race.
Many election analysts have pointed to the decision of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Trump remarks put pressure on Barr Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. ‘will ignore’ Trump’s threats against political rivals MORE to reopen the investigation into 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonObama slams Trump in Miami: ‘Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff’ Ballot initiatives in Colorado, Louisiana could restrict abortion access Trump mocks Joe Biden’s drive-in rallies at North Carolina event MORE‘s private email server used during her time as secretary of State as a key reason for her defeat that year.
Deere told the Post last week that “if the president doesn’t have confidence in someone he will let you know” and added that the White House does not speculate on personnel matters.