Apr 12, 2018

Scoop: Ricky Waddell is leaving the White House

From left: White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, Deputy National Security Advisor Ricky Waddell and Deputy Director of Presidential Advance Jordan Karem walk across the South Lawn. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump's deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell will leave the White House, according to two sources briefed on the decision. New National Security Adviser John Bolton wants to bring his own person in, and Waddell was H.R. McMaster's hand-picked deputy.

Behind the scenes: John Kelly loves Waddell, who used to work with him in the military. Kelly not only wanted to keep Waddell on the NSC, but suggested to Trump that Waddell — not Bolton — should replace McMaster as the National Security Adviser. He was overruled, and now Bolton appears to have total authority of hiring and firing on the NSC.

Why this matters: Bolton is making wholesale changes at the NSC, bringing in his own people and clearing out McMaster's. Senior NSC officials Nadia Schadlow, who authored the Trump administration's National Security Strategy, and Michael Anton, who led the NSC's strategic communications, have already resigned in anticipation of likely being pushed out under Bolton. More NSC departures are expected soon.

White House sources have a high regard for Waddell, a Major General in the United States Army Reserve, who has run the daily operations of the NSC since last May. It's not clear when his last day in the White House will be. 

A source briefed on the internal deliberations told me he'll stay on to help with the transition to his replacement and that Waddell is expected to receive a third star in the Army.

Go deeper

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks against the coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Driving the news: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.