Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, has been a target of President Trump’s ire for many months.President Trump is moving toward major shuffles of his cabinet and his West Wing staff, as members of the Trump family are working to leave a mark on personnel decisions after a bruising midterm election cycle, several people familiar with the discussions said on Tuesday.
Mr. Trump is almost certain to fire Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security who has long been a target of the president’s displeasure, three people close to the president said. Mr. Trump talked about dismissing Ms. Nielsen ahead of his trip to Paris for a World War I commemoration.
But inside the White House, removing Ms. Nielsen is also seen as a way for Mr. Trump to push out the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, without directly firing him. Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, has long been seen as a prospective replacement for Mr. Kelly if he leaves.
Another administration official, Mira Ricardel, a foreign policy hard-liner who had been serving as a deputy to the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, was expected to be dismissed, after the first lady, Melania Trump, complained about her to Mr. Kelly, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Ms. Ricardel, who previously worked at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, had disparaged two members of Mrs. Trump’s staff during thefirst lady’s trip to Africa last month, the person said. Ms. Ricardel also is said to have tangled with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on issues of policy and Pentagon personnel.