White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted again Friday the president had no "immediate" plans to move -- or remove -- many of his top officials. But, her comments capped a week consumed by rumors of a White House shakeup.
Top officials under threat of removal, sources told CBS News, included National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions
While long rumored, the tumult this week had been fueled by fallout from President Trump's sudden firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The administration is now working to confirm Tillerson's replacement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo's replacement, CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel.
Tillerson's departure adds to a long list of vacancies already facing the State Department, at a time of heightened stakes. Challenges facing the U.S. include intensifying Russian aggression (which prompted new sanctions this week), groundwork to lay for the approaching summit with Kim Jong Un, and the anticipated demise of the Iran nuclear deal.
And on Monday, President Trump is expected to announce a wide-ranging plan to combat the opioid crisis. Despite a controversial provision to punish drug dealers with the death penalty, the plan could be one of the GOP's last chances to notch a win before the fall midterms. The Republican loss in Pennsylvania on Tuesday emboldened Democrats, who hope to capture majorities in both houses of Congress come November.
We'll get the latest on Russia from CBS News Foreign Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer (@elizapalmer), reporting from Moscow.
We'll talk to Senate lawmakers:
- Sen. Rand Paul (@RandPaul), R-Kentucky, who threatened to block the nominations of Pompeo and Haspel
- Sen. Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker), R-Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Sen. Angus King (@SenAngusKing), I-Maine, a key moderate on the Senate Intelligence and Budget Committees
We'll talk also to Marc Short (@marcshort45), White House Legislative Director.
We'll sit down with top South Korean diplomat Kang Kyung-Wha, who is visiting Washington for talks with the White House and congressional officials
And for perspective and analysis on another busy news week, we'll bring together our political panel, this week with:
- Dan Balz (@danbalz), The Washington Post
- Susan Davis (@DaviSusan), NPR
- Mark Landler (@MarkLandler), The New York Times
Don't miss Sunday's exciting broadcast! Check your local listings for air times.