WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will leave his job at the end of this year, U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Saturday, marking the most important in a string of adjustments one month after Republicans misplaced management of the House of Representatives in midterm elections.
Trump, talking to reporters as he left the White House to attend the annual soccer sport between the Army and Navy navy academies in Philadelphia, stated he would title a alternative for Kelly, presumably on an interim foundation, within the subsequent day or two.
“He’s a great guy,” Trump stated of Kelly, who led the Department of Homeland Security earlier than becoming a member of the White House. “I appreciate his service very much.”
A White House official later informed Reuters that Trump has been in discussions for months with Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, about turning into White House chief of staff.
Trump desires Ayers to do the job for 2 years, the official stated. But Ayers is unable to make the dedication as a result of of his household, together with two younger kids, and has agreed to serve solely till the spring of 2019.
“The president and Nick are still working on the specific terms of him taking over,” stated the official, including that Ayers had been planning to leave Pence’s workplace and the White House this month.
A freewheeling former businessman, Trump introduced Kelly in final year to revive order to his usually chaotic White House, however has clashed repeatedly with the retired Marine Corps normal in latest months. The two males had been now not on talking phrases, based on one supply with direct data of the scenario.
Kelly’s impending departure is a component of a broad overhaul designed to recalibrate Trump’s administration because it faces a brand new actuality in Washington, with Democrats set to take management of the House in January and the 2020 presidential race gearing up subsequent year.
On Friday, Trump introduced his selection of William Barr, who was lawyer normal below former President George H.W. Bush within the 1990s, to return to the job as the pinnacle of the Justice Department.
He additionally picked Heather Nauert, spokeswoman at the State Department and a former Fox News presenter, to change into U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Kelly, 68, had some success in restoring order to Trump’s White House after he was appointed in July 2017, however the president bristled at his type.
Their rocky relationship was highlighted in “Fear: Trump in the White House,” a e book by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that was launched in September.
In it, Kelly was proven as one of a number of White House figures questioning Trump’s skills and was quoted as calling the president “unhinged” and “an idiot.”
“It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything,” the e book quoted Kelly as saying throughout a gathering. “He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
Kelly later denied calling Trump an fool and stated the e book was “another pathetic attempt to smear” Trump’s administration.
He issued an identical denial in April after NBC News reported he had referred to Trump as an fool on a number of events and stated the president didn’t perceive coverage or how the federal government works.
Trump made Kelly chief of staff after the departure of Reince Priebus, who lasted little greater than six months within the job.
As head of Homeland Security, Kelly backed Trump’s ban on journey from sure predominantly Muslim nations however at occasions appeared at odds with the president’s agenda.
In January, he informed Fox News that Trump was not “fully informed” when he made his signature promise to construct a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico to dam unlawful immigrants and drug smugglers.
In different controversial feedback, Kelly stated in February that some younger unlawful immigrants dubbed “Dreamers,” delivered to the United States as kids, could not have signed up for a program to guard them from deportation as a result of they’re “too lazy to get off their asses.”
Kelly, who was born and raised in Boston, additionally sparked a backlash in October by saying the U.S. Civil War, by which Southern states rebelled to attempt to preserve slavery, was attributable to a scarcity of “compromise.”
Unlike different key Cabinet appointments, the White House chief of staff doesn’t require affirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Reporting by Jeff Mason, Steve Holland and Jan Wolfe; further reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Nick Zieminski and Susan Thomas