John Kelly out as Trump's chief of staff

Cheryl Sanders
December 8, 2018

White House chief of staff John Kelly will leave his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters Saturday. He is also expected to host a dinner with senior White House staff, including Kelly, when he returns from Missouri on Friday night. They said Kelly could be out before the holidays.

The announcement follows reporting yesterday that Kelly's on the way out.

Trump has long admired Kelly for his military valor, but his lack of political experience and interest in campaign strategy has made him an imperfect fit leading the staff of a president who lives and breathes politics. Kelly is reportedly on his way out.


Ayers, 36, is considered more politically attuned than Kelly, a retired general who is 68. And he had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump. Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is a possible contender, the source said.

But after the midterm elections in November, Trump said "let's see what happens", about Kelly's future at the White House, during an interview on "Fox News Sunday".

Trump also announced that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is his pick to replace Nikki Haley as the next USA ambassador to the United Nations, and he said he'd have another announcement Saturday about the military's top brass. Vanity Fair reported in 2017 Kelly's discipline put a strain on his relationship with Trump and cited an unnamed source who said Trump and Kelly were "fighting a lot". Kelly's role, though, has lessened in recent months as the president has instead followed his own counsel, and added like-minded aides to his staff.


This story is developing and will be updated.

Trump also said that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was his pick to replace Nikki Haley as the next US ambassador to the United Nations.

Barr is likely to face tough questions at his confirmation hearing about how he will handle the ongoing special counsel investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election.


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