Trump plans to fire Gina Haspel, Christopher Wray and Mark Esper immediately if reelected: report
Although former Vice President Joe Biden has a variety of possible paths to victory on Election Day, President Donald Trump might pull off a narrow Electoral College victory if he performs well in enough swing states — and if Trump does win a second term, according to Axios reporters Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene, he plans to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper immediately.
Swan and Treene report that according to two sources who have talked to Trump, those three officials are at the top of Trump's list of officials to fire if he is reelected.
"The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump's priorities, starting with Wray," the Axios reporters explain. "Wray and Haspel are despised and distrusted almost universally in Trump's inner circle. He would have fired both already, one official said, if not for the political headaches of acting before November 3."
After the 2018 midterms, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And Swan and Treene note that winning a second term will "embolden Trump to ax anyone he sees as constraining him from enacting desired policies or going after perceived enemies."
Trump has recently expressed disappointment with Attorney General William Barr, which is ironic in light of how aggressively he has defended the president with everything from the Mueller Report to the Ukraine scandal. But according to one of Axios' sources, Barr isn't on Trump's immediate chopping block even though the president has been ranting and raving against him.
Swan and Treene note, "Trump is furious that Barr isn't releasing before the election what Trump hoped would be a bombshell report by U.S. Attorney John Durham on the Obama Administration's handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Durham's investigation has yet to produce any high-profile indictments of Obama-era officials as Trump had hoped."
According to Swan and Treene, Trump "has never been impressed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos…. But that doesn't carry the urgency of replacing Wray or Haspel."
Trump is angry with Wray, the Axios reporters note, because he didn't launch a formal investigation of Hunter Biden's foreign business connections. And Trump is angry with Haspel, they report, "for opposing the declassification of documents that would help the Justice Department's Durham Report."
One of Axios' sources told the publication, "Since the beginning of DNI's push to declassify documents, and how strongly she feels about protecting sources connected to those materials, there have been rumblings around the agency that the director plans to depart the CIA regardless of who wins the election."