you're fired
May 16, 2020

Another federal watchdog is out the door.

President Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick late Friday evening, saying the 2013 Obama appointee "no longer" had his "fullest confidence." Linick's ouster quickly drew criticism from several Democrats like House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who called it "an unlawful act of retaliation." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also had some harsh words.

A Democratic aide said Linick was looking into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's alleged misuse of a political appointee to perform personal tasks for him and his wife.

Trump has removed several watchdogs in recent months, including Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, who issued a report on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who handled the whistleblower report that led to Trump's impeachment earlier this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the firings represent a "dangerous pattern."

Ambassador Stephen Akard, the director of the Office of Foreign Missions who is considered an ally of Vice President Mike Pence, will step into Linick's role. Read more at The Washington Post and Politico. Tim O'Donnell

January 2, 2019

The Cleveland Clinic fired a first-year resident after finding out she posted anti-Semitic messages on social media, including one post saying she would give Jewish patients "the wrong meds."

The resident, Lara Kollab, started at the Cleveland Clinic in July 2018 and was fired in September, CBS News reports. Her messages were discovered by Canary Mission, a website that exposes anti-Semitic posts; Canary Mission said it found dozens of offensive posts from 2011 to 2017, with Kollab calling Jews "dogs" and trivializing the Holocaust. She has since deleted all of her social media profiles.

In a statement, the Cleveland Clinic said that "in no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization," and that as soon as Canary Mission shared the posts, action was taken. "For first-year residents, multiple safeguards and direction supervision are required for patient care and prescribing medicine," the hospital added. "In addition, there have been no reports of any patient harm related to her work during the time she was here." Catherine Garcia

December 30, 2018

A DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday announced it has fired two employees who called the police on a black guest who was talking on his cellphone in the hotel lobby.

The guest, Jermaine Massey, said he was on the phone with his mother when the employees reported him for trespassing. Massey filmed much of the interaction and posted it to Instagram.

"Our hotel is a place of hospitality, and [the employees'] actions were inconsistent with our standards and values," Hilton said in a statement. Watch excerpts of Massey's video below via CBS News. Bonnie Kristian

March 13, 2018

President Trump's high staff turnover rate was already record-breaking months ago, as the White House hemorrhaged high-ranking officials one after another after another. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson became the latest official to fall, fired by Trump essentially over Twitter.

A full 37 Trump-appointed staffers have resigned, been fired, or been reassigned, since Trump took office — a higher rate than the five most recent presidents. Analysis from the Brookings Institute found that, as of last week, Trump's White House has endured a 43 percent turnover rate. The list of departed staffers is long, and even longer with the inclusion of pre-Trump staffers, like former FBI Director James Comey and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Starting with Michael Flynn, through the end of the Stephen Bannon era, all the way through Gary Cohn's departure just last week, the list of the dozens of now-former staffers is staggering:

Among top "decision-making" staffers, Trump's turnover rate is double former President Ronald Reagan's, the Brookings Institute found, and more than triple that of former President Barack Obama.

The White House has sought to downplay the constant churn of staffers. "This is an intense place," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week. "It's not abnormal that you would have people come and go." Summer Meza

March 12, 2018

The Metropolitan Opera in New York fired James Levine on Monday, after an investigation into the conductor's behavior found evidence of sexual misconduct and harassment.

A preeminent conductor, Levine, 74, made his debut at the Met in 1971, and went on to conduct 2,552 performances. He became artistic director in 1976, but stepped down two years ago due to Parkinson's disease, taking on a new role as the head of the young artists program. Levine was suspended in early December when several New York newspapers printed allegations of sexual misconduct against him, some going back to the 1960s.

The firm Proskauer Rose was hired to head the investigation, and the Met said that after interviewing more than 70 people, investigators "uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct toward vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority. In light of these findings, the Met concludes that it would be inappropriate and impossible for Mr. Levine to continue to work at the Met." He has not been charged with any crime. Levine's representative did not respond to The Associated Press' request for comment. Catherine Garcia

June 30, 2017

Who is next on President Trump's chopping block? White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer? Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Chief of Staff Reince Priebus or chief strategist Steven Bannon? Despite all the rumors — and there are a lot of rumors — it's just as likely no one is, New York reports. Trump just compulsively loves talking about firing people, even if he has no actual plans or desires to fire anyone.

"Donald Trump — think about how he talks," one senior White House official explained. "How do you think Mike Pence is doing as vice president? Is Mike Pence doing a good job? Let me ask you this: Did I make the right call on Pence?"

The official added: "[Trump] asks it in front of me, with people there! Literally, we will be sitting there having dinner, and he'll just say, 'How's he doing? Is he getting killed?' The first couple of times, you're like, 'What the f---?' But you get used to it. That's just how he talks."

Officials stressed that while Trump likes to act as if he is a tough boss, the president actually strongly dislikes firing people. "[Trump is] a conflict-avoider," an administration official explained. "He hates firing people. He knows he's gotta fire every one of them — but he can't bring himself to do it. He's a Gemini. Do you know what a Gemini is? Those are two people in one body. There's always two faces with Trump."

Read more about how the "you're fired" president doesn't want to fire anyone at New York. Jeva Lange

June 23, 2017

President Trump was feeling especially jovial Friday afternoon as the weekend approached, even going so far as to "[pantomime] killing off his veterans affairs secretary should he fail to successfully implement new reforms" during a ceremony in the East Room, The Washington Post writes.

Trump said he had "no doubt" Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin would "properly" implement the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which Trump signed Friday. But just to be sure he asked, "Right, David?" Shulkin naturally responded in the affirmative.

Smiling, Trump responded, "Better be, David, or …" He then made a pistol with his right hand, aimed it at Shulkin, and mouthed his signature words: "You're fired!"

The audience of administration officials, lawmakers, and veterans and their families laughed at the president's joke.

"We'll never have to use those words," Trump said. "We'll never have to use those words on our David." [The Washington Post]

Trump's jokes about firing staffers are not an unusual occurrence, a self-aware nod to his reality TV days. Unfortunately, his real-life firings have gotten him into some hot water on more than one occasion. Jeva Lange

May 5, 2017

White House residence staff learned upon arriving for work Friday morning that Angella Reid, the chief usher, had been fired, The Washington Post reports. Citing someone with knowledge of the dismissal, the Post says employees were told Reid had been relieved of her duties. Reid was the first woman and second African-American to serve in the position.

The White House chief usher is the de facto general manager of the building, "handling everything from the large staff ... to fiscal, administrative, and personal duties," the Post writes. Reid assumed the role in 2011 under former President Barack Obama, replacing Stephen Rochon, who was the first African-American chief usher. Chief ushers typically serve for many years; the Post notes there have been only nine people in the position since the beginning of the 20th century.

A White House official confirmed to the Post that the administration had parted ways with Reid. "We are very grateful for her service and wish her the very best," the unnamed official said. Kimberly Alters

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