The Trump administration is coming apart at the seams as Jim Mattis resigns

  • 21 Dec 2018

With his forced resignation, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis joins a long list of departures from the Trump administration.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference following Tuesday's midterm elections at the White House in Washington, US on November 7, 2018. ( Reuters )

Ever since Donald Trump took the US presidency in January 2017, more than 50 administration members and high-ranking officials have either left their posts or been removed.

The record setting departures in less than two years amount to a turnover rate of almost one exit every two weeks or 10 working days.

Here's a look at a few prominent exits:

US Secretary for Defence Jim Mattis talks to journalists during a news conference at the end of the second day of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at a gathering of NATO defence ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.(AP)

Jim Mattis

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned on December 20 after Trump announced an abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria.  

‘You have the right to have a secretary of defence whose views are better aligned,’ the defence secretary told Trump in his resignation letter after two years of deep disagreements with Trump over America's role in the world.

Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump's administration, will leave by the end of February 2019.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke gives a 'thumbs-up' after speaking to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.(AP)

Ryan Zinke

Trump announced on December 15 that Zinke will be leaving the administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years as the US Secretary of the Interior. 

Zinke is one of several members of Trump's cabinet to come under fire over expenditures, including reports that his department was spending nearly $139,000 to upgrade three sets of double doors in his office - a cost he later said he negotiated down to $75,000.

Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Nick Ayers arrives for a news conference with President Donald Trump and Republican congressmen after participating in a Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat at Camp David, Md, Saturday, Jan 6, 2018. A seasoned campaign veteran at age 36, Ayers had emerged as a leading contender to replace White House chief of staff John Kelly.(AP)

Nick Ayers 

Ayers announced that he would leave the White House at the end of 2018 where he served as the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.  His resignation came as he declined Trump's offer to be his new chief of staff to replace after John F. Kelly.

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the fiscal year 2018 budget.(AP)

John F. Kelly

A retired US Marine Corps general, Kelly was selected as the first Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration on January 20, 2017. Almost two years after, Trump announced that he would step down by the end of the year. The two men were no longer on speaking terms when his resignation was announced, according to Reuters citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a speech on the efforts to combat drug trafficking and end the opioid crisis Wednesday, February 7, 2018, in Tampa, Florida.(AP)

Jeff Sessions

Became attorney general of the United States on February 8, 2017. He was forced to resign by Trump on November 7, 2018.

Nikki Haley

Served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations since January 25, 2017. She resigned on October 9, 2018 and will leave her post at the end of this year. 

Outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, October 9, 2018, in Washington.(AP)

Scott Pruitt

Sworn in as Environmental Protection Agency administrator on February 17, 2017. He stepped down on July 5, 2018.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reacts while testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.(AP)

Herbert Raymond McMaster

Assumed post of national security adviser of the US on February 20, 2017. He was fired by President Trump on March 22, 2018.

Then National Security Adviser H R McMaster during a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2018.(AP)

Gar Cohn

Served as chief economic adviser to the US president from January 20, 2017 until he resigned from the post on March 6, 2018.

Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn speaks during an event to introduce the Republican tax reform plan at the US Capitol in Washington, US, November 9, 2017.(Reuters Archive)

Hope Hicks

Became White House Communications director on the same day Trump assumed office on January 20, 2017. She resigned on February 28, 2018.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks appears in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, February 9, 2018.(AP)

David Shulkin

Served as Veterans Affairs secretary from January 20, 2017 till the day he was fired on March 28, 2018.

In this March 7, 2018 file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks at a news conference in Washington.(AP)

Rex W Tillerson

Became the US secretary of State on February 1, 2017. He was fired on March 13, 2018.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pauses while speaking to State Department employees, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the State Department in Washington.(AP)

Omarosa Manigault Newman

Became assistant to the president and director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison on January 20, 2017. She resigned on December 13, 2017.

In the March 12, 2017 file photo, White House Director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault, right, walks past President Donald Trump during a meeting on healthcare in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.(AP)

Tom Price 

Served as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services since February 10, 2017. He resigned on September 29, 2017.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks during a listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Washington.(AP)

Sebastian Gorka

Became White House deputy assistant on January 24, 2017. He resigned on August 25, 2017.

Former deputy assistant to the US president, Sebastian Gorka, delivers remarks during the Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, US, October 14.(Reuters Archive)

Steve Bannon 

Became White House Chief Strategist on January 20, 2017. He was fired on August 18, 2017.

Steve Bannon, former strategist for President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally for Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona.(AP)

Anthony Scaramucci

Served as White House Communications Director for 10 days between July 21, 2017 and July 31, 2017. He was fired.

Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, points as he arrives during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Washington.(AP)

Reince Priebus

Became White House Chief of Staff on January 20, 2017. He was fired on July 28, 2017. 

In June 5, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump's then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus attends an Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative event in the East Room at the White House, in Washington.(AP)

Sean Spicer

Served as White House Press Secretary from January 20, 2017 till the day he resigned on July 21, 2017. 

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: A World of Change at The TimesCenter on Thursday, September 20, 2018, in New York.(AP)

James Comey 

Only Obama-era appointee on this list who served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) since 2013. He was fired by Trump on May 9, 2017.

File photo, former FBI director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, June 8, 2017.(AP)

Michael Flynn

Served as United States National Security advisor from January 20, 2017 till February 13, 2017.

Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal courthouse in Washington, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, following a status hearing.(AP)