Trump Appoints New White House Chief Of Staff
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said he is naming Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as chief of staff, ousting Reince Priebus.
I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
...and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
The Friday afternoon announcement comes after a week of turmoil in the White House, in which the president's new communications director Anthony Scaramucci assailed Priebus in a profanity-laced interview with the New Yorker.
Priebus' departure is not necessarily a surprise. Priebus has had a diminished profile in the White House for weeks, and the president hasn't exactly expressed support for him. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to tell reporters whether the president still has confidence in his chief of staff.
Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, represents the establishment Republican wing brought on in efforts to provide Washington know-how to a president with no experience holding public office. Other RNC allies brought aboard included White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Kate Walsh, former deputy White House chief of staff. Walsh is gone, and Spicer is on his way out.
Priebus and Scaramucci have long been at odds. Scaramucci was angling for the chief of staff position, but Priebus was named instead. When Scaramucci joined the White House staff last week, it became clear that he would have some of the responsibilities and access normally designated only to the chief of staff. Scaramucci, in his first White House press briefing, said he would report to the president directly, rather than to Priebus, and said he had the authority to fire people.
Tensions escalated in the last 48 hours, in which Scaramucci all but accused Priebus of leaking his financial disclosure information to the press, then launched into a profanity-filled tirade against Priebus.