President Trump said Defense Secretary James Mattis is possibly the next high-profile person to leave the White House while stating that turnover is typical for presidential administrations.
“I had lunch with him two days ago, I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is [leaving],” the president told 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl. “…I think he’s sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth.”
“It’s wrong. It’s so false. It’s fake news.” —President Trump on reports that the White House is in chaos. The president's full 60 Minutes interview airs tonight. https://t.co/tFUrrwfPmr pic.twitter.com/2xRTBqYJnX
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 14, 2018
“But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave at some point. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. People leave, that’s Washington.”
When Stahl asked if this indicated chaos, Trump said no.
“It’s wrong, it’s so false… It’s fake news,” he said. “…I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal.”
“I think I have a great Cabinet. There are some people that I’m not happy with. I have some people that I’m not thrilled with, and there are some people that I’m beyond thrilled with.”
Trump’s predecessor, President Obama, was also known for staff shuffling and personnel changes at various points of his presidency.
“As he finishes a fifth year in power that proved far more vexing than his fourth, President Obama is shuffling his staff to recapture lost momentum and confront the daunting challenges of the midterm election season,” reported the New York Times in Dec. 2013. “With each passing day comes word of another personnel change as the president seeks to recalibrate a White House operation that failed to win passage of most of his top legislative priorities for the year, struggled to preserve his public standing and bungled the rollout of his signature health care program.”