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  • White House
John McEntee, left, served as the president's personal assistant.
John McEntee, left, served as the president's personal assistant. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

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 advisor 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. It was not clear why McEntee was let go. 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% of the president's executive staff had left in the first 13 1/2 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.

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President Trump speaks to reporters on Tuesday morning outside the White House
President Trump speaks to reporters on Tuesday morning outside the White House (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Eager for vindication in the ongoing Russian investigations, President Trump on Tuesday praised House Republicans who said there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russians.

“We are very, very happy with that decision,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “It was a powerful decision that left no doubts.”

The conclusions, which were detailed by the Republicans who run the House Intelligence Committee, were immediately criticized by Democrats, who said the panel had not conducted a thorough enough investigation.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a press conference with Nigeria's foreign minister in Abuja on March 12.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a press conference with Nigeria's foreign minister in Abuja on March 12. (Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP/Getty Images)

After months of tension, President Trump has ousted his secretary of State, replacing Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Trump made the announcement in a Twitter message Friday morning, before leaving Washington on a trip to California. The news came after Tillerson abruptly cut short a trip to Africa on Monday.

In the tweet, Trump brusquely thanked Tillerson for a his service and hailed Pompeo, saying he would do a "fantastic job" as the country's top diplomat.

Equifax Inc. was publicly excoriated by senators last fall for its massive data breach. Now, the company and other credit reporting firms are in line to get some last-minute benefits in a banking deregulation bill that originally was designed to punish them by adding new consumer rights.

U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis
U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis (Virginia Mayo / Associated Press)

U.S. Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Tuesday he believes victory in Afghanistan is still possible — not necessarily on the battlefield but in facilitating a Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government.

Mattis spoke shortly before arriving in Kabul, where security concerns were so high that reporters traveling with him were not allowed to publish stories until his party had moved from the Kabul airport to the U.S.-led military coalition's headquarters. That was the first such restriction on coverage of a Pentagon chief's visit in memory.

Mattis said he would be meeting with President Ashraf Ghani and top U.S. commanders.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. (Associated Press)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has again butted heads with the Trump administration by proclaiming that the poison attack on a Russian dissident in Britain clearly appeared to be the work of Moscow.

Tillerson, traveling in Africa, said Monday he had “full confidence” in the British government investigation that indicated that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that sickened former Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Father and daughter were in England, and an attack on them tied to Russia would be a major international incident. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

White House officials ratcheted up their fight with California politicians over immigration policies ahead of President Trump’s visit Tuesday, briefing reporters Monday night on what they called “misconceptions” being propagated by leading Democrats in the state.

Thomas D. Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, took particular exception to a comment by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who contended last week that the administration was engaged in “cowardly attacks” against immigrants when the Justice Department sued the state over its immigration laws.

“Her quotes were just beyond the pale,” Homan said, taking Pelosi’s words as an attack on immigration officers.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on March 12
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on March 12 (AFP / Getty Images)

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Russia and its allies Monday for violating a humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, and excoriated the U.N. Security Council for failing to guarantee the truce.

Haley also warned that the Trump administration “remains prepared to act,” as it did last April when U.S. missiles were fired at a Syrian government airbase that was used to drop nerve gas on civilians.

"It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again," Haley told the Security Council, which met in special session. "When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action."

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  • White House
President Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last year.
President Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last year. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump plans to host Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House next week, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday.

Prince Mohammed attracted controversy in November when he orchestrated a purge of dozens of people, including sitting cabinet members and a fellow prince. The move was seen as an effort to consolidate power. The regime portrayed the sweep as a crackdown on corruption and an effort to attract foreign investment and reduce the country’s historic dependence on oil. 

Sanders declined to say whether Trump would raise human rights issues with the heir to the throne.

President Trump’s well-documented clashes with California owe plenty to politics, culture and personality. But at bottom, what drives the president’s toxic relationship with the nation’s most populous state is this: his near-obsessive desire to be seen as a winner.