U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to replace H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The Post said the president did not want to rush to announce the removal so as not to embarrass the three-star Army general.
McMaster’s ouster is part of a major shake-up at the top levels of the administration, prompting fears that there will be other departures at the White House, the paper reported.
“There will always be change,” the president told reporters Thursday. “And I think you want to see change. I want to also see different ideas.”
Thursday night White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders contradicted the report on Twitter.
Sanders was asked earlier Thursday at the daily White House press briefing to describe the current relationship between Trump and McMaster.
“The president and General McMaster are continuing to work together to put pressure on Russia to do the right thing. Again, I think you can see what the administration’s viewpoint is simply by looking at the actions that we took today by placing new sanctions on Russia,” Sanders said.
Trump has sparred with McMaster, however, over the past few weeks.
The president chastised McMaster last month after the national security adviser said Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election was “incontrovertible.”
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted.
Second national security adviser
The report of McMaster’s removal comes at the heels of the sudden firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson two days ago.
If Trump follows through with the decision, McMaster will become the second national security adviser to leave the job since Trump took office.
The first one, Michael Flynn, was fired weeks into his tenure in 2017 after misleading White House officials about his contacts with Russians.
Steve Herman at the White House contributed to this report.