President Donald Trump has told reporters that his chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job by the end of the year. Trump is becoming increasingly concerned about Democrats taking over the House in January, and has privately said he needs someone else to help shape the last two years of his first term, which he predicts will be politically focused.
"I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!" he said.
Donald Trump said John Kelly's replacement will be announced over the next day or two.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump seemed to be directing calls away from Kelly and toward Nick Ayers-Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff-who has always been rumored as Kelly's eventual replacement. Ryder referred other questions to the White House.
We've heard it before, but this time John Kelly's really leaving-at least according to unidentified White House sources. "It's not his strength", Trump said.
The retired Marine Corps general has spent 16months in the position.
But Ayers's appointment isn't a certainty. He quickly took on a broader range of responsibility than Priebus had, requiring all White House staffers to answer to him. He's also regarded skeptically in some quarters for an earlier career as a political consultant in which he attained considerable wealth.
But reports that Kelly and Trump are no longer speaking are overblown, the people said. The announcement comes amid a wider shakeup of staff by President Trump.
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. As Trump prepares for his 2020 reelection campaign, some advisers have counseled him to replace Kelly with a sharper operative who can steer the administration through the daily - and hourly - political fights sure to come.