White House chief John Kelly will leave his role by the end of the year – ITV News


Donald Trump said staff chief John Kelly will leave his job by the end of the year in an anticipated reshuffle of the Western wing.

The departure reflects the focus on the US President's re-election campaign in 2020 and the challenge of governing with Democrats who demand control of the House.

An announcement on the replacement of Mr. Kelly is expected in the coming days, the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, is Mr. Trump's best choice to replace Mr Kelly and the two have held discussions for months at work, a White House official said.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Ayers are elaborating specific terms according to which Mr. Ayers would have filled the role and the commitment in terms of time it will take, the official said.

Trump wants his next head of state to agree to keep his job by the 2020 election.

Ayers, who has young triplets, had long since planned to leave the administration at the end of the year.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters relating to sensitive personnel.

Saturday's announcement comes the day after Trump appointed his choices for attorney general and ambassador to the UN, and two senior assistants moved from the White House to Mr. Trump's campaign.

Kelly was given the order to impose an agile West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his position as national security secretary.

His iron in the first place has also alienated some of Trump's allies for a long time and has become increasingly isolated, with a much diminished role.

Known through the west wing as "the chief" or "the general", the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Mr Trump via a tweet to try and normalize a White House diluted by bases of internal and internal power.

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"John Kelly will leave – I do not know if I can retire – but he's a great guy," Trump told reporters.

"John Kelly will leave at the end of the year and we will announce who will replace John – he could be on a temporary basis.

"I will announce it in the next day or two, but John will leave at the end of the year … I really appreciate his service."

Kelly had early successes, including the end of an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and established a more rigorous political process to try to prevent staff members from going directly to Trump.

But those efforts also overshadowed the president and some of his most influential external allies, who had become accustomed to unimpeded access.

The way Kelly dealt with domestic violence charges against the former White House secretary also caused consternation, especially among low-level White House staff members, who believed they lied about them when he discovered the charges.

In each administration, the role of the White House chief of staff is divided between the responsibilities of overseeing the White House and the management of the man sitting in the Oval Office.

The White House assistants state that Trump developed trust in Mr. Ayers, partly observing the effectiveness of Mr. Pence's independent political operation.

Ayers also gained the support of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the daughter of the president and son-in-law and senior consultants, for taking on the new role, White House officials said.

Georgia's meteoric rise in GOP policy included a successful period at the Republican Governors Association, a time when former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's campaign director failed to apply and White House advice for dozens of high-profile Republicans, including Pence.

Ayers, 36, would be the youngest chief of staff from 34-year-old Hamilton Jordan served under Jimmy Carter. Mr Kelly is 68 years old.



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