Reince Priebus, is out as White House chief of staff, and President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will replace him.
A senior White House official said Priebus had resigned on Thursday.
“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 and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration,” Trump wrote.
He added, “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!”
Priebus’ resignation follows a sustained attack campaign from new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who went on an expletive laden rant against Priebus to the New Yorker earlier this week, calling the chief of staff a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic” and accusing him of trying to “c— block” him and keep him out of the West Wing. Scaramucci had also accused Priebus of leaking to try to undermine him.
His exit also follows the latest collapse of the congressional effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, one of Trump’s top legislative priorities. Priebus had played a large role shepherding the repeal effort, and had shouldered blame for previously major setbacks.
The former Republican National Committee chairman had endured months of reports that the president was weighing replacing him, but he had hung on, hoping to make it until the one-year mark.
Kelly is a retired Marine Corps general and the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command. Trump has long talked up his love of generals, stocking his administration with military leaders.
Priebus follows press secretary Sean Spicer out the door. Spicer resigned last week, after it became clear that Scaramucci would be reporting directly to Trump and would be above him in the West Wing pecking order.
Priebus’ exit marks the most dramatic shakeup yet in Trump’s West Wing, which has been plagued by infighting and anonymous leaks, as aides also struggled to rein in Trump and his Twitter habit. Priebus especially failed to form a strong bond with the president, and found it difficult to keep the White House focused as it became consumed by the intensifying Russia probes and inability to push through Trump’s legislative agenda.
It’s unclear if Kelly will be more successful at trying to bring order to an increasingly chaotic West Wing.
SOURCE: TARA PALMERI