John Kelly, Donald Trump, President of the United States - USA TODAY

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President Donald Trump said Kelly will leave his post by the end of the year.
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WASHINGTON – Former White House chief of staff John Kelly, Trump said Saturday.

"John Kelly will be going to the end of the year," the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

Trump, who called Kelly "a great guy" despite their clashes, said he will announce a successor – perhaps an interim one – in a few days.

Kelly's exit as a firing, saying that "John Kelly will be leaving – I do not know if I can say 'retiring.'"

Kelly himself has not commented publicly since reports emerged Friday that he would be leaving soon.

This is only the latest staff change as The trump shakes up his team in the wake of the last month. Trump has also removed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is said to be eyeing other changes.

Blackberries: White House departures: Who's been fired and who resigned

The Kelly news is not a surprise.

Chris Whipple, author of "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency," said the Trump-Kelly relationship has been "a lousy marriage" for months.

"No wonder," said Whipple. "Alas, Kelly will be regarded as one of the least effective WH chiefs.

Kelly's decision ends a tumultuous 17-month tenure in which he tried, but he failed to be closely related to the freewheeling management style Trump embraced as a New York businessman.

The retired four-star general had sought to build a tighter organization around Trump, limiting access for staff who grew accustomed to Trump's open-door policy in the Oval Office. But the 68-year-old Kelly increasingly found himself sidelined by a president who is being managed by others.

David Cohen, a political scientist at The University of Akron, said the change will probably amount to "little" in the day-to-day operation of the Trump White House.

"Trump has never empowered," Cohen said. "Trump is his own chief in many ways and unwilling to give any power to his chief subordinate. Until he is willing to make significant changes to his own management style, nothing will change. "

While in July, he said he had agreed to stay on through the 2020 election. They said Trump has sounded out aides about possible replacements. They include Vice President Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers.

In the beginning, Kelly was able to streamline Trump's schedule and squelch flow of information that reached his desk. On his first day in July 2017, Kelly ousted Trump's bombastic communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, after unloaded on colleagues in an interview.

Gradually, however, Trump beat back some Kelly's restrictions, and occasionally complained. Members of Trump's family, including first lady Melanie Trump, also complained about Kelly's attempts to limit access.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus into the job, reports emerged that Trump had frozen Kelly out, and the president was soon to be ousted.

Trump "an idiot," that he cast him as "the lone bulwark against catastrophe" from Trump, and that he got into a shouting match with the National Security Adviser John Bolton Kirstjen Nielsen's performance on border security.

'Crazytown'

Journalist Bob Woodward quoted Kelly describing the Trump White House as "Crazytown."

Trump brought Kelly into a White House riven by internal feuds in July 2017. Weeks after ousting Scaramucci, Kelly orchestrated the departure of the senior adviser Steve Bannon, an architect of Trump's who is clashed with other members of the staff.

After firing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price for spending taxpayer on high-priced charter flights, he insisted that any future will be approved by him personally. And after a scandal over lax security clearances, he rescinded top-level clearers for a number of high-level staffers – including the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

While Trump was careful to praise Kelly in public, the two repeated clashed behind the scenes. The chief of staff found himself out of certain meetings and decisions by or involving the president.

For example, Kelly was not dialed in when the Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated him on winning re-election in Russia. Kelly listened in on all foreign leader calls.

Also, the chief of staff was not involved in Trump's decision to hire Bolton as his new national security adviser, an appointment and announced by tweet. Kelly had made it known and was opposed to Bolton in the days before his selection.

At one point, Trump mused about doing away with the chief of staff He was reportedly told by Kelly.

Still, as Kelly passed the one-year mark in July, administration officials said Trump had asked the chief of staff to stay on through the 2020 election. Kelly told staff members who had accepted the request.

Recent tension

In recent weeks, however, some administration officials expressed that one of Kelly's proteges.

As Trump announced Kelly's departure on Saturday, Nielsen stayed on the job.

Other White House praised officials for a much-needed organization to a notoriously undisciplined president and staff.

His military mind and organizational skills were seen as a good counterpoint to Trump's often impulsive style. Still, Kelly often found himself at the center of stories of intriguing White House.

After Trump told Niger that "he knew what he signed up for, he called Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., An" empty barrel "and "all hat, no cattle." He then falsely claimed that Wilson took credit for an FBI building in her district.

Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, who has been working for more than a year before the British tabloid revealed allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives. Even then, he initially put out a statement defending Porter until asking for his resignation a day later.

After many of those episodes, Trump defended his chief of staff on Twitter. He said Kelly was "doing a fantastic job, "that he was"one of the finest people I know, "and that"I could not be happier or more impressed. "

Support for key administration officials – just before they were fired.

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