President Donald Trump is preparing major changes to his administration for his second term, according to new reports.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is also expected to be replaced, Axios reported. Attorney General William Barr is reportedly in presidential disfavor, but a source said Trump has not made plans to replace him.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is also said to be on the list of Cabinet members who could be replaced.
For the record, the White House was keeping mum.
“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 spokesperson Judd Deere told Axios.
On CIA Director Gina Haspel there are mixed reports.
Axios painted Haspel as likely to go.
“The view of Haspel in the West Wing is that she still sees her job as manipulating people and outcomes, the way she must have when she was working assets in the field,” a source “with direct knowledge of the internal conversations” told the outlet.
“It’s bred a lot of suspicion of her motives.”
Axios also said Haspel has impeded the document declassification process.
“Since the beginning of [director of national intelligence’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,” another unnamed source said.
Fox, however, poured cold water on the Haspel rumors.
“Haspel isn’t going anywhere, ” Fox’s unnamed source said. “POTUS has a good relationship with her.”
However, there was unanimity that Wray is likely to go. Fox quoted two sources saying Trump has been chomping at the bit to ax the FBI director but has been told he has to wait until after next week’s election.
Axios reported that Trump has soured on Wray after the FBI chief would not do more to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign connections. Trump also sought extensive FBI housecleaning to oust those who were part of the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s connections with Russia.
Second terms are often a time for administrations to make changes.
Josh Bolten, a former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said he would advise Trump to “rethink all of your personnel and know what your priorities are.”
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