CNN
Now playing
01:28
McMaster's long, outspoken military career
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens during a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting concerning the situation in Syria, at United Nations headquarters, April 14, 2018 in New York City.  Yesterday the United States and European allies Britain and France launched airstrikes in Syria as punishment for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's suspected role in last week's chemical weapons attacks that killed upwards of 40 people. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens during a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting concerning the situation in Syria, at United Nations headquarters, April 14, 2018 in New York City. Yesterday the United States and European allies Britain and France launched airstrikes in Syria as punishment for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's suspected role in last week's chemical weapons attacks that killed upwards of 40 people. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:04
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley resigns
President Donald J. Trump talks on the phone in the Oval Office receiving the latest updates from Capitol Hill on negotiations to end the Democrats government shutdown, Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Joyce N. Boghosian/White House
President Donald J. Trump talks on the phone in the Oval Office receiving the latest updates from Capitol Hill on negotiations to end the Democrats government shutdown, Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Now playing
02:40
The high-profile exits since Trump took office
former Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius
CNN
former Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius
Now playing
02:15
Fmr. ambassador resigned in protest of Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: President Donald Trump's motorcade arrives at the White House on May 13, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13: President Donald Trump's motorcade arrives at the White House on May 13, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:51
White House deputy chief of staff to leave
Tom Bossert speaks at the White House press briefing on Thursday, August 31
CNN
Tom Bossert speaks at the White House press briefing on Thursday, August 31
Now playing
02:32
Source: John Bolton pushed out Tom Bossert
David Shulkin newday 04022018
CNN
David Shulkin newday 04022018
Now playing
00:47
Shulkin: I was fired by a tweet
National security adviser H.R. McMaster waves as he walks into the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 16, 2018.
Susan Walsh/AP
National security adviser H.R. McMaster waves as he walks into the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 16, 2018.
Now playing
01:57
Trump replaces McMaster with Fox News analyst
Getty Images/Chris Kleponis-Pool/Chip Somodevilla
Now playing
01:57
Trump celebrates McCabe firing on Twitter
pool
Now playing
01:44
Tillerson speaks after being fired
John McEntee, special assistant and personal aide follows US President Donald Trump to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base September 27, 2017 in Maryland. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
John McEntee, special assistant and personal aide follows US President Donald Trump to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base September 27, 2017 in Maryland. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:33
Longtime Trump aide John McEntee fired
CNN
Now playing
02:09
How to succeed as Trump's communications director
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn waits to speak during the daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Cohn discussed the administration's plans  for reforming the tax code. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn waits to speak during the daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Cohn discussed the administration's plans for reforming the tax code. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:58
Gary Cohn to resign as WH economic adviser
US President Donald Trump (L) congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:15
Trump: Steve Bannon cried when he got fired
 The White House is shown during departure by President Donald Trump for the congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol January 17, 2018 in Washington D.C. (Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
The White House is shown during departure by President Donald Trump for the congressional Gold Medal ceremony for former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol January 17, 2018 in Washington D.C. (Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:51
Second WH aide resigns after abuse accusations
Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, on Friday, February 2, 2018, will host a summit at the Department of Justice in the Great Hall to discuss Department of Justice efforts to combat human trafficking.   Speakers:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions;  Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand;  Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen;  Business and Community leaders from around the country.   The event runs all day - from 9am - 4:45pm. We do not have a tick tock for speakers, so we need to shoot the entire day (obviously we care the most about Sessions and Nielsen). Laura Jarrett will attend this event as the producer and can write for digital.   Cameras need to be preset by 8am for this event   NOTE: All media must have government-issued photo I.D. (e.g. Driver's License), as well as valid media credentials. Media may begin arriving at 8:00 A.M. for security clearance. Please RSVP to Lauren Ehrsam by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Lauren.Ehrsam@usdoj.gov.
POOL
Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, on Friday, February 2, 2018, will host a summit at the Department of Justice in the Great Hall to discuss Department of Justice efforts to combat human trafficking. Speakers: Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand; Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen; Business and Community leaders from around the country. The event runs all day - from 9am - 4:45pm. We do not have a tick tock for speakers, so we need to shoot the entire day (obviously we care the most about Sessions and Nielsen). Laura Jarrett will attend this event as the producer and can write for digital. Cameras need to be preset by 8am for this event NOTE: All media must have government-issued photo I.D. (e.g. Driver's License), as well as valid media credentials. Media may begin arriving at 8:00 A.M. for security clearance. Please RSVP to Lauren Ehrsam by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Lauren.Ehrsam@usdoj.gov.
Now playing
01:58
NYT: Senior DOJ official steps down
(CNN) —  

White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster could leave his position in the White House by the end of the month, according to an administration official.

Multiple sources familiar with the matter have said McMaster’s departure is likely in the near future.

The administration official and a source familiar with the matter say it is becoming more likely that McMaster will not return to the military and ultimately will retire as a three-star general.

Among the names being considered to replace him are:

  • Stephen Biegun: Vice president for international government affairs at Ford Motors and a former senior staff member to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice in the George W. Bush administration. NBC News was first to report that Biegun was under consideration. A spokesperson for Ford told CNN: “Steve has no plans to leave Ford and has had no conversation with the White House about any positions.”
  • Safra Catz: CEO of Oracle and a former member of the Trump transition team.
  • John Bolton: A former US ambassador to the United Nations who was strongly considered as a candidate for deputy secretary of state during the Trump transition. Bolton has maintained what some have described as a positive personal relationship with President Donald Trump since the election but his hawkish views on issues like North Korea have made him a controversial pick to join the administration.

Sources caution that Trump will make the final decision and things could always change.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter said McMaster has talked to senior leadership at the Hoover Institution about a position there once he finishes at the White House. But another source emphasized that “no deal or arrangement has been finalized.”

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton dismissed reports of McMaster’s departure, telling CNN, “I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office. President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ office referred all questions regarding personnel matters to the White House.

At least one senior military officer has been informally approached about whether he would be interested in the national security adviser job and has said no because of the officer’s belief that he could not fill what’s essentially a political job while serving in uniform, according to an official familiar with the situation.

Aides have discussed for some time an exit strategy for McMaster, who has clashed with Trump on policy matters, including Iran and Afghanistan strategy. While chatter of McMaster’s departure has persisted for months, there now appears to be a scaled-up effort to locate a replacement.

White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah denied that any departure is imminent: “We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials. There are no personnel announcements at this time.”

Last week, CNN reported that McMaster could leave the White House after months of tensions with Trump.

The President has privately expressed irritation with McMaster stemming from differences in “personality and style,” a senior Republican source previously told CNN.

The two have never gotten along, and Trump continues to chafe at McMaster’s demeanor when he briefs him, feeling that he is gruff and condescending, according to a source who is familiar with his thinking.

But the task of easing McMaster out of his role as national security adviser presents a unique challenge for the White House.

Sources with knowledge of McMaster’s standing in the White House have repeatedly said that he has been on thin ice for months.

There was discussion in the West Wing about replacing him last fall, but he ultimately survived because officials, including the President himself, were skeptical about the optics of appointing a third national security adviser in less than a year, several sources told CNN. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned amid controversy over his contact with Russian officials within a month of taking the job.

McMaster also kept his job at the time because of the White House’s challenge attracting top talent for positions in the administration, due to Trump’s “blacklist” of individuals who have criticized him, his personality and the Russia investigation, according to a senior Republican source.

CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Elise Labott, Jamie Gangel and Jim Acosta contributed to this report