A White House 'blood bath' simmers as national security adviser H.R. McMaster is reportedly at the front of Trump's firing line

  • Several top White House officials are reportedly on the cutting block.
  • National security adviser H.R. McMaster's ouster was reportedly considered "imminent."
  • Rumors of a change in leadership follows a long list of resignations and firings within the past few weeks.


As rumors of a potential shake-up in top-level leadership at the White House circulate, sources called the latest developments a "blood bath" and indicated that national security adviser H.R. McMaster was at the front of President Donald Trump's firing line, according to Fox News' White House correspondent John Roberts

Sources said McMaster's ouster was "imminent"and expected John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, to replace him, according to Roberts.

Tensions between McMaster, Trump, and other top officials have reportedly flared throughout McMaster's tenure and, at one point, he was rumored to have threatened to quit.

Asked by a reporter of any updates on his position in the White House, McMaster replied on Tuesday: "Hey, I'm still around."

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National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster
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National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster
Newly named National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as U.S. President Donald Trump makes the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his new National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (L) at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Newly appointed National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as U.S. President Donald Trump makes the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with his new National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster after making the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump departs the room after announcing his new National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (L) who receives a handshake from newly named chief of staff of the National Security Council Gen. Keith Kellogg (C) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with his new National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster after making the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster (C) and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (L) attend a joint news conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster delivers a statement to reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S. May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House national security advisor H.R. McMaster (L) arrives with Press Secretary Sean Spicer (R) to speak to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (2nd R) looks on as Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson (L) exchanges agreements with a Saudi official after a signing ceremony between Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Also pictured are White House national security advisor H.R. McMaster (L), chief economic advisor Gary Cohn (3rd R) and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Marine One with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster as they depart for a day trip to Miami from the White House in Washington, U.S., June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump eats Belgian chocolate flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and National security adviser H.R. McMaster react as they eat Belgian chocolate during their meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster joins White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (unseen) for the daily briefing, to address sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro , at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Trump reportedly met Bolton and indicated he had a role to play in his administration, according to a source in Vanity Fair. Bolton replied that he would consider a position of secretary of state or national security adviser, to which Trump reportedly said, "O.K., I'll call you really soon."

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is also on Trump's radar, according to several media reports. Shulkin has reportedly drawn ire from Trump following a spate of scandals in his agency, including a recent report alleging he asked a member of his security detail to accompany him to a Home Depot and carry furniture items to his house.

Rumors of Shulkin's replacements have ranged from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to Fox News co-host Pete Hegseth.

But Perry flatly denied the reports and said he was "happily" serving in his current position: "I am energy secretary from now until the foreseeable future," Perry said on Wednesday.

Hegseth, who previously competed for Shulkin's job, reportedly talks to Trump on a regular basis. Earlier this month, Shulkin met with Trump in the Oval Office to discuss the VA healthcare system when Trump surprised him by calling Hegseth and putting him on speaker phone to get his opinion, according to sources in an Axios report.

Other potential firings have also been floated in White House circles, including attorney general Jeff Sessions and White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Due to the uncertainty following the recent wave of resignations and firings, one White House staffer described the situation as "the most toxic working environment on the planet."

"Usually tough times bring people together," the White House official told Axios. "But right now this atmosphere is ripping people apart.

"There's no leadership, no trust, no direction and at this point there's very little hope," the official continued. "Would you want to go to work every day not knowing whether your future career was going to be destroyed without explanation?"

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SEE ALSO: The mood inside the White House is the worst it's ever been, with staffers calling it 'the most toxic working environment on the planet'

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