Negative news included a report that USA housing starts, a measure of future growth, fell 7% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.24 million, a decline that was anticipated after construction surged in January to 1.33 million, and retail sales fell for the third month in a row.
Hard on the heels of firing his secretary of State, President Donald Trump is preparing another shakeup, moving toward replacing his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster. Reports of tumult in the administration were at a feverish pitch - even on his beloved Fox News - as the president reflected on the latest staff departures during an Oval Office conversation with Vice President Mike Pence and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
On Friday, the White House said President Trump told South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, he still intends to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May. Last year McMaster reportedly called Trump an "idiot" and a "dope" when speaking at a private dinner.
Within the last month, communication director Hope Hicks resigned, economic advisor Gary Cohn left and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked. On Wednesday, he named conservative TV analyst Larry Kudlow to replace his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who quit over trade disagreements.
Sanders looked to tamp down the possibility of McMaster leaving the White House, though, telling reporters that she spoke directly to Trump about the national security advisers' standing.
Officials could not yet confirm what job McMaster might be nominated for if he were to leave the White House.
Among possible replacements for McMaster is John Bolton, the ultra-right George W. Bush administration U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a ferocious advocate of war against Iran and North Korea. According to White House correspondent Major Garrett, Kelly's chances of surviving the White House' purge in the coming days depends on President Donald Trump's mood and whether there is anyone on deck to take the chief of staff's place.
The president has complained that McMaster is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant.
The Democratic Party has responded to the internal crisis of the Trump administration not by opposing his right-wing program, but by forcing Trump to take a more bellicose position against Russian Federation. This came up more than two weeks after Trump told lawmakers that the National Rifle Association has "great power over you people, they have less power over me".
Others considered at risk for being fired or reprimanded include Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has generated bad headlines for ordering a US$31,000 dining room set for his office; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has been under fire for his first-class travel at taxpayer expense; and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose agency spent US$139,000 to renovate his office doors. McMaster, meanwhile, is the person who delivers the news that Trump doesn't want to hear on a daily basis, according to the senior Republican source.