President Trump has fired his White House personal assistant John McEntee, who had been with the president since early in his campaign, an administration official confirmed Tuesday. The president's campaign then announced McEntee will rejoin the campaign as a senior adviser of operations.
McEntee is the latest in a series of departures by West Wing officials, including communications director Hope Hicks and staff secretary Rob Porter. The White House did not say why McEntee was let go, but a senior U.S. official said he lost his security clearance and could no longer perform his role. Trump wanted to keep him around so a spot was made for him at the campaign, this person said. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the firing, citing an unspecified security issue.
Trump has had a record rate of turnover in his senior staff. Before McEntee's departure, 43 percent of the president's executive staff had left in the first 13½ months. McEntee's departure was overshadowed by the news that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. Gina Haspel — the deputy director at the CIA — will succeed Pompeo at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed.
Also Tuesday, the Trump campaign announced that Katrina Pierson, who served as the campaign's 2016 national spokeswoman, will rejoin the effort as a senior adviser.
“We need the help of proven leaders such as Katrina and John to promote the President’s growing portfolio of achievements across the country,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
From left, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House aide John McEntee. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)