If Trump wins re-election, he has a list of positions for planned replacements, and FBI Director Christopher Wray is at the top of the list, according to two people who have discussed the matter with the president.
Also at the top of the list are CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
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 Nov. 3.
Winning a second term would most certainly embolden Trump to fire anyone he sees constraining him from enacting policies or going after perceived enemies.
Trump also signed a new executive order last week that seems certain to target career government officials, politicizing the civil service. Laws that have been in place for more than a century aimed at preventing corruption and cronyism are in the line of fire.
Other departments are reportedly being considered for shake-ups. Apparently Trump has never been impressed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Attorney General Bill Barr has been in the crossfire of Trump’s unhappiness.
Trump’s deputy chief of staff, Chris Liddell, is heading a transition effort that includes vetting potential new cabinet members, and conducting loyalty tests to administration officials to weed out “never-Trumpers.”