WH Chief of Staff John Kelly could be replaced before the holidays

Erika Holt
December 9, 2018

President Trump says White House chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job at end of the year; Eric Beach, co-chair of Great America PAC, and former OH state Senator Capri Cafaro join the debate.

"John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year", the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

"John Kelly will be leaving - I don't know if I can say 'retiring, '" Trump said per White House pool reports.

As for Kelly's legacy, Baier said the retired general served his country "tremendously" in the military, as Homeland Security secretary and as Trump's chief of staff.

He calls Kelly "a great guy". The president often remarks on Kelly's lack of political skills and has told advisers in recent days that he needs a more political chief of staff for his reelection.

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Most of the other witnesses interviewed were connected to Trump's campaign, but Kelly didn't join the administration until after the president was sworn in in January 2017.

Now CNN is not alone in its reporting that he finally reached the end of the line.

USA media outlets have pegged Vice President Mike Pence's 36-year-old chief of staff Nick Ayers as a likely candidate to take Kelly's place. "I appreciate his service very much".

Trump and Kelly met in the White House residence Friday night and hashed out the details of a departure that had been anticipated for months, according to people familiar with the meeting. It's easy to see how the narrative began: Kelly is a four-star general and longtime political operative, as opposed to say, Omarosa, Jared Kushner, or the rest of Trump's rogue gallery of inexperienced feckless sycophants. "That is what the president needs by his side over the next two years", Schwartz claimed it wouldn't make any difference. The announcement comes amid a wider shakeup of staff by President Trump. It was widely believed that Kelly would provide a stabilizing force in the ever-tumultuous White House.

Kelly's tenure working for Trump was pocked with controversies, and officials were often amazed at how he managed to survive. He quickly took on a broader range of responsibility than Priebus had, requiring all White House staffers to answer to him. Rumors of Kelly's departure have been circulating since last month's midterm elections.

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