General McMaster, whose job requires him to negotiate internal disputes among factions within the administration, as well as deal directly with foreign officials, is operating with the public expectation that every day may be his last.
Possibilities to take over for McMaster include John Bolton, a Fox News contributor and former ambassador to the United Nations, and Keith Kellog, the current chief of staff of the National Security Council, the New York Times reports. The president recently told an ally that he was still frustrated by an interview that Kelly gave to Fox News almost two months ago in which he suggested that Trump had "evolved" in his thinking about the need for a wall on the Mexican border. "And I think you want to see change", he said.
While announcing Tillerson's ouster Tuesday, Trump told the media, "I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the cabinet and other things that I want".
The Post report painted a picture of turmoil in the White House based on 19 anonymous interviews with presidential advisers and administration officials.
All of the shakeups in the White House could be exactly what Trump wants, judging by comments he made yesterday.
Mattis similarly has bucked or demurred on some of the president's policy orders, yet relative to McMaster he has been protected from Trump's direct ire by the distance between the West Wing and the Pentagon and their less-frequent meetings. The conversations included discussions about Obama administration sanctions on Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 campaign, something Flynn had denied. When McMaster arrived, he studied how previous national security advisers had operated and how President Dwight Eisenhower had envisioned the role of the NSC director when he created the White House council.
In recent weeks, McMaster played a central role in responding to messages from South Korea about North Korea's willingness to meet with the USA officials.
With a laugh, Trump said: "Who's next?". Chiefs of staff to previous presidents have said that uncertainty is likely to hobble Mr. Kelly's ability to operate effectively.
Lemire contributed from NY.