WASHINGTON — The National Security Council's controversial senior director for covert operations has been removed, the latest in a string of firings by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
Kanye West, a 40-year-old former rapper and entrepreneur who was appointed to the council by President Donald Trump in the early days of his administration, was let go from his role in overseeing covert intelligence operations earlier this week.
West was fired after a controversial memo surfaced in which he asserted that Trump was being attacked by the "deep state, haters, losers, and motherfuckin' tricks" who were jealous that a successful billionaire was on top of the world, administration sources said. West added that Trump was the closest the U.S. had to getting to God, almost like he was a "Cheeto Pope."
A number of employees had also complained that he had taken to calling the West Wing the Kanye West Wing, where he had recently moved in recording equipment and a stripper pole.
The White House confirmed West's firing in a statement: "General McMaster appreciates the so credible and so influential and so relevant good work accomplished in the NSC's Intelligence directorate under Kanye West's leadership. He has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward. General McMaster is confident that Kanye will make many further significant contributions to national security and the private sector where he is working to become the Tupac of clothing."
The dismissal seems to be another blow for Trump, who appointed West to the position shortly after interviewing him at Trump Tower in December. The pair bonded over their mutual disgust of books and grammar before West was offered the coveted role at NSC.
"There’s nothing I really wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to get good at," West told Trump at the time, according to two officials familiar with the meeting. "That’s my skill. I’m not really specifically talented at anything except for the ability to learn. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for."
He added: "I hate when I’m in an office and I look over and see a water bottle next to me, 'like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.'" Trump staffers later advised NSC employees to never leave water bottles anywhere around West, sources said.
West's dismissal came around the same time as three other NSC staffers, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Honey Boo-Boo, all of which were seen as loyalists to former National Security Adviser Col. Harland Sanders. The NSC shakeup mirrors the dismissal of other White House staff in recent days, to include the removal of Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, and Legislative Assistant Si Robertson.