White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to quit Trump administration


Don McGahn - Trump said in August the White House counsel would leave amid strains between the two over the Mueller probe.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday announced his chief of staff John Kelly would be leaving the administration at the end of the year - the latest in a series of moves by the Republican leader to change his inner circle of aides.

Reports suggested that Kelly's resignation is due to a stalemate in his relationship with Trump. "I appreciate his service very much", Trump said, as he boarded Marine One on his way to the Army-Navy college football game in Philadelphia.

Former homeland security secretary Kelly was tasked with bringing order to the White House when he took over from Reince Priebus in July 2017.

Brought on as one of the "adults in the room" of the chaotic Trump presidency, Kelly failed to rein in his boss, who is now attempting to ban transgender people from serving in the military, still detaining children at the southern USA border, insisting on sending thousands of troops to "protect" that border, and tweeting conspiracy theories.

Stephen Bannon - Trump's chief strategist was sacked by Trump in mid-August after clashing with White House moderates.

Omarosa Manigault Newman - Fired as assistant to the president in December, the former reality TV star later wrote a book, "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House". I'll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year.

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During his brief stay at Foggy Bottom, Tillerson frequently found himself out of the loop and caught unawares by policy shifts announced in Trump tweets. He told people that he didn't think it would be that long for his departure to become public, the source said.

Trump had often tossed around potential replacements, but sensitive to charges that his administration has been marked by record turnover, he said in July that he would keep Kelly in the job through 2020. He curbed Oval Office access, blocked certain outsiders from being able to call the White House switchboard and executed authority over staffing.

Photos of Kelly holding his head or looking downward have made headlines over his tumultuous 17-month tenure. Kelly started holding increasingly fewer senior staff meetings - once daily occurrences that were whittled down to weekly gatherings - and exerted less control over who talked to the President, which was once his sticking point.

Kelly, too, has made no secret of the trials of his job and has often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he'd done before, including on the battlefield.

In October, Kelly and Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly got into a shouting match over immigration, border crossings and the performance of the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a former deputy of Kelly who he supported to replace him at the department.

Ayers, who is a seasoned campaign veteran despite his relative youth - he's just 36 - has the backing of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, for the new role, according to White House officials.

It's far from the first time that a politico has analyzed Kelly's body language. He insulted Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, using inaccurate information, later declaring he would "never" apologize. They worry it may unravel without a chief of staff with deep leadership experience who commands respect - qualities they fear Mr Ayers lacks. Kelly's shifting accounts caused his credibility inside the West Wing to plummet, and it never truly recovered, according to officials.