So intense was the swirl of speculation about McMaster that White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to tamp things down late Thursday by tweeting: "Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster - contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC".
Reports also say that Trump is considering replacing Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, with some indicating he is seriously looking at veteran and Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth. The president is "now comfortable" with ousting McMaster, according to the Post, but the Journal said the move could be months away.
That put McMaster in the crossfire in dealing with Trump's demands for bold but fraught policy actions like exiting the Iran deal, punishing Pakistan for not more aggressively going after terror groups, and moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The same day the White House declined to say whether Putin is a friend or a foe, the global community was busy condemning Russia for the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
Trump's decision to impose the steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum was the final straw for the former Wall Street banker.More news: OPEC sees oil supply surge from United States countering its cuts
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March 16, 2018 Over this past week, President Donald Trump and the White House have planned to endorse multiple bills that will increase school safety. He has traveled with Trump to several countries and helped craft the administration's national security approach to North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran.
McMaster also has seemed to be a casualty of a shoot-the-messenger tendency on Trump's part, caught in the middle between the president and the machinations of the other main players on the national security team - Mattis and, until this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - as they sought to keep a lid on actions they didn't want Trump to take, according to White House officials.
The first eruption of tensions with Trump came a year ago when the president balked at condemning neo-Nazis and far-right extremists who had led a violent rally in Virginia in August.
Since the beginning of President Trump's time in office, to even before during his campaign, Trump has had his fair share of position openings.
Some of the remaining members of Trump's Cabinet could soon collapse under the weight of self-created ethical issues. In addition to the firing of John McEntee, Trump's longtime personal assistant, on Wednesday, an aide to first lady Melania Trump was reportedly escorted out.