31 July, 2017
President Donald Trump on Thursday fired Reince Priebus as chief of staff, replacing him with Homeland Security Secretary Gen (rtd) John Kelly, amid growing tensions at the White House due to infighting among top staffers.
"Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job", Trump told reporters.
"The president has tried to convince the general multiple times, and the general has politely declined several times", one administration official told the newspaper.
"He has been a true star of my administration", the president tweeted Friday, announcing that his current secretary of homeland security was in, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was out. He's a great great American.
General Kelly is a retired US Marine Corps four-star general who has led the Department of Homeland Security since Donald Trump's inauguration.
"John has done a spectacular job at Homeland Security".
Kelly takes on the key White House role after six months in the top spot at Homeland Security, a department that was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on NY and Washington, D.C. The Senate voted in January to confirm Kelly by an 88 to 11 vote.
"I've been obviously talking to the President for a few days about this. the President was great". The President has sounded out people recently about whether to keep Bannon, including some conservatives who convinced Trump that getting rid of Bannon would damage the President with his base, a person familiar with the conversation told CNN.
In an interview with CNN following his resignation, Priebus said "the president wanted to go in a different direction". Another early departure from the Trump White House was National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
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"What I'm going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we'll start over", Mr Scaramucci responded.
Fearful of an unscheduled meeting or phone call or even a rogue tweet at the thumbs of the president, Priebus made a point of keeping close to Trump's side.
Anthony Scaramucci, who was appointed communications director one week ago, had accused Mr Priebus - a Republican Party stalwart - of leaking to the press. Though Priebus forged an uneasy truce with his former foe Bannon, powerful White House aides Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, were both supportive of Kelly's hire, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.
"If a general can't do it I don't know who can", he said. Those questions sharply escalated this week with the arrival of Anthony Scaramucci, the hard-charging communications director who was hired over Priebus' objections.
And I think that was an effective thing to do when stagflation was roaring in the '70s or '80s, but now people are under assault and they want a little government assistance.
He said he is more focused on MS-13 because it is "particularly violent", saying MS-13's members do not like to shoot their victims because death comes too fast.
Kelly will be sworn in to his new post Monday.
Trump is "not actually a guy that tends to stick to his bargains and so we'll see if John Kelly's actually given that kind of authority", said Cohen.