John Kelly's White House Exit Seen as Certain; Ayers May Get Job

09 December, 2018, 05:57 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's replacement will be announced in the next two days. File

Kelly wasn't seen at the White House during the day on Friday, but did attend a senior staff dinner in the evening, one of the people said. The two have reportedly stopped speaking in recent days.

Though highly praised by Trump upon his appointment in July 2017 and seen as something as a check on Trump's unruly behavior, Kelly has seen his power fade among these ongoing clashes including several with Trump himself.

Kelly's impending departure is part of a broad overhaul created to recalibrate Trump's administration as it faces a new reality in Washington, with Democrats set to take control of the House in January and the 2020 presidential race gearing up next year.

It is unclear who will replace Kelly, but a reported leading contender is Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers. But that largely depends on if Ayers actually wants to move up and if Pence is willing to let him go. Trump advisers with an eye on 2020 have also urged the president to change his chief of staff to someone with experience in politics ahead of his re-election effort.

Representatives for the White House did not be immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.


Kelly's resignation had always been rumored amid signs that he and Trump had grown irritated with each other. Mr. Kelly, a career military officer before becoming Mr. Trump's first homeland security secretary, lacked such experience. The lights were off in his West Wing office.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Nov. 16, 2018.

Mr Trump had asked his chief of staff to stay on until 2020 when he reached the end of his first year.

Kelly has not yet released a statement regarding his departure from the White House. Trump's announcement confirmed rumors about Kelly's tenure in the West Wing that have for months plagued Trump's administration. In 2017, Politico report cited three USA government officials who said Kelly's cellphone was compromised throughout the first half of that year, with the suspected breach potentially happening even before he began serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in January. Some lower-level White House staffers believed Kelly had lied to them about when he knew of the allegations and when he made clear to Porter that he'd have to leave. He insulted Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, using inaccurate information, later declaring he would "never" apologize.

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