Trump prepares major changes in his cabinet

John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen are considered the first to leave the administration

Photo: EPA White House Chief of Staff John Kelly may be the first to go

President Donald Trump is contemplating on a major shakeup in his administration - both inside the West Wing and across the Cabinet, multiple officials familiar with the matter said. Chief of Staff John Kelly, mired in conflicts with a widening array of officials from the National Security Council to the office of the first lady, comes first on the list of people, that may leave president's office by the end of the week.

Kelly's resignation would follow after his time as chief of staff for most of the past year has been clouded by controversy and disagreements with Trump and various West Wing staff. Questions about his future in the White House became even more serious particularly after his repeated clashes with national security adviser John Bolton and his deputy, Mira Ricardel. Kelly has also gotten on the wrong side of First Lady Melania Trump over staffing issues and travel requests, with some of the disputes having escalated to the president. Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, is among those being considered for the job, though President Donald Trump has mused about other possible candidates, such as adviser Johnny DeStefano and budget director Mick Mulvaney.

Kirstjen Nielsen, his secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is potentially the next to go, multiple officials with knowledge of the matter said, because of President's continued frustration at her handling of his signature issue: immigration and border security. Trump has angrily aired his frustrations with Nielsen's handling of border security during contentious meetings at the White House, claiming she isn't up to the task of fulfilling the campaign promises he made to curb illegal immigration. 

Surprisingly, the firing of Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel is also in sight, due to clashes with the First Lady. 

“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” a spokesperson for FLOTUS said of Ricardel in a comment to an American media.

The harsh remark comes after the two women reportedly clashed due to Melania Trump’s trip to Africa last month. According to several media outlets first lady's staff repeatedlyclashed with the adviser over things like plane seating and requests to use National Security Council resources. The first lady has also suspected Ricardel of being behind several negative press stories about her. She reportedly discussed the issue with the president during their recent trip to Paris, during which Trump told his wife he would have Ricardel removed. Yet, The first lady isn’t the only one who has clashed with Ricardel. The adviser also conflicted with Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff and executive secretary for the National Security Council, as well as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other Pentagon officials. 

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