In case America didn’t get enough of Trump being Trump last year, 2018 promises to be a dooze. On a day that counts at least three major departures from the Trump administration (Rex Tillerson, Tillerson’s spokesperson, and Trump’s personal aide) comes word that Trump views this moment as a reckoning in which he’s taking back his power.
.@costareports: I’m hearing the POTUS is looking at this moment as a return to Trump being Trump…he wants to surround himself with people who understand his campaign mentality. A turning point was that weekend rally in Pennsylvania. He doesn’t want constraints. #AMR
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) March 13, 2018
Vanity Fair reported last Friday that Trump was going for “a clean reset” as he preps for the run up to the midterms. That assessment seems about right, though at the time, the outlet fingered chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster as next on the chopping block. Of course, it’s entirely likely that the reporting did actually reflect Trump’s thinking several days ago, but then Trump suddenly pulled the trigger on Tillerson after his secretary of state crossed the “red line” of expressing his support for Great Britain over Russia.
However, clearing out Tillerson also smoothed the way for Trump to install John Bolton as a replacement for H.R. McMaster, who’s still expected to be axed.
More changes expected include a McMaster departure soon, as NBC recently reported. Among replacements, Tillerson had expressed concerns about working with Bolton.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 13, 2018