From Cohn's exit to Tillerson's termination: 8 days that rocked the Trump presidency

Key Points
  • The resignation of Trump economic aide Gary Cohn and the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are bookends to a week of major developments in Washington.
  • Call it eight days that shook the country.
Administration in a shaky moment with Tillerson firing
Administration in a shaky moment with Tillerson firing

It's hard to believe, but Gary Cohn's resignation from the White House was only last week.

Call it eight days that shook the country.

Here's a list of some of the jolting events, starting with Cohn's sudden resignation as President Donald Trump's top economic advisor last Tuesday night through the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only a week later:

On the morning of March 6, Trump denounces reports of chaos in the White House as "Fake News." But he goes on to say, "I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection)."

Trump tweet 1

Change sure comes — within hours. That night, five days after losing his fight against a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum, pro-free trade economic advisor Cohn resigns as head of the National Economic Council.

President Donald Trump praises departing economic adviser Gary Cohn (L) during a Cabinet meeting at the White House, Washington, March 8, 2018.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Also March 6, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway is accused by federal investigators of violating the Hatch Act by making political statements supporting Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama U.S. Senate race.

The same day, porn star Stormy Daniels files a lawsuit against Trump alleging that a nondisclosure agreement she had signed with the president's attorney over an alleged affair was not valid because Trump hadn't signed the agreement.

March 8, at a televised Cabinet meeting, Trump says his administration is in the final stage of crafting regulations to ban bump stocks, devices that enable semi-automatic guns to fire at fully automatic speeds. "Bump stocks are going to be gone," he says in a move that followed the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Also March 8, Trump hastily agrees to meet with Kim Jong Un in a bid to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile testing. Tillerson was in Africa while Trump made his decision.

March 10, Tillerson's spokesman announces in Kenya that the secretary of State was not feeling well and had canceled his events in the east African country.

Also March 10, at a campaign rally for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, Trump says Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters has a "low IQ" and calls Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," a "son of a bitch."

March 12, two weeks after admonishing fellow Republicans as being "afraid of the NRA," Trump says there's "not much political support (to put it mildly)" for raising the minimum age of purchasing an assault gun to 21.

Also March 12, the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee ends its probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, saying it found "no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In another development on March 12, Trump's personal assistant, John McEntee, is fired and escorted out of the White House amid a Secret Service investigation into alleged financial crimes, The Wall Street Journal reports on March 13. Citing people close to McEntee, the Journal says the case is related to online gambling and taxes. McEntee could not be located by CNBC for comment, and the White House declined to comment on personnel issues. After being fired, however, McEntee joins Trump's re-election campaign as a senior advisor.

March 12-13, British Prime Minister Theresa May says it was "highly likely" that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England. Trump is initially silent about May's statement, although White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells reporters: "Right now, we are standing with our U.K. ally. I think they're still working through even some of the details of that. And we're going to continue to work with the U.K., and we certainly stand with them throughout this process."

Just before he was fired, Tillerson says he didn't know whether Moscow knew of the attack with a military-grade nerve agent, but that one way or another, "it came from Russia." On March 13, the White House says Trump agrees with May that Russia "must provide unambiguous answers" about the chemical used to poison Skripal and his daughter.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pauses while speaking to the media at the U.S. State Department after being fired by President Donald Trump in Washington, March 13, 2018.
Leah Millis | Reuters

March 13: Trump fires Tillerson and says he will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo for secretary of State and Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the spy agency. She would become the first woman to do so.

March 13-14: Voters in southwestern Pennsylvania apparently elect Democrat Conor Lamb in a special House election, according to NBC News. In a vote widely seen as a referendum on Trump, Lamb was leading Republican Rick Saccone by 641 votes with 99 percent of precincts counted. Trump campaigned for Saccone in the district last weekend.

WATCH: Trump says he still likes Cohn and may come back to WH

Trump: I still like Cohn and he may come back to the White House
Trump: I still like Cohn and he may come back to the White House