Trump chooses Kelly as new White House Chief of Staff, Priebus out

EMBED </>More Videos

President Trump tweeted Friday that John Kelly will move from Homeland Security to the White House.

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that he has named Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

P:riebus, the former Republican National Committee head, was the frequent target of rumors about his job security, the victim of a long whisper campaign by Trump allies and the subject of a remarkable public rebuke this week by the new White House communications director.

In the tweet, Trump called Kelly a "Great American."



The President then sent out a second tweet:



Trump said that Kelly "has been a true star of my administration."

EMBED More News Videos

Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly is replacing Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.



Trump thanked Priebus him for "his service and dedication" in a tweet and said, "we accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!"

Reince Priebus, right, steps off Air Force One on Friday after being dismissed as White House Chief of Staff. At left is White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino.



Priebus traveled with Trump earlier in the day to an appearance in Brentwood, New York.

The move immediately raised questions about the political pecking order and the timing of a new vacancy during a delicate moment for foreign policy.



Speaking to reporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, Trump said: "Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job."

Kelly is a retired Marine four-star general.

Priebus never could bring a semblance of order to the team of in-fighting rivals that populate Trump's West Wing, and questions about his future have long swirled around the office.

Those questions sharply escalated this week with the arrival of Anthony Scaramucci, the hard-charging communications director who was hired over Priebus' objections.

Priebus' already tense relationship with Scaramucci took a darker turn over the past two days when the communications chief suggested in a late-night tweet that Priebus was one of the "leakers" that Trump has railed against. The New Yorker published an interview Thursday in which Scaramucci called Priebus, amid an avalanche of vulgarity, a "paranoid schizophrenic"

oth Scaramucci and Priebus traveled to New York's Long Island with Trump on Friday for an event where the president highlighted efforts to crack down on the gang MS-13.

Priebus took the return flight to Washington, his fate sealed in the tweets that were sent by the president just as he stepped off the plane. Priebus did not respond to reporters' shouted questions.

From day one, Priebus' power has been limited compared with past officials with his title. In a highly unusual arrangement, Trump said at the outset that Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon would serve as "equal partners" in implementing his agenda.

Priebus, who hails from Wisconsin and has deep ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan, had grown increasingly isolated in the White House, as past Republican National Committee colleagues and other allies have left or been pushed out of the West Wing. Those who have departed include former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer and press aide Michael Short.

Scaramucci was the latest top aide to be granted a direct line to Trump, and it became increasingly unclear who actually reported to Priebus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
politicsPresident Donald Trumpdepartment of homeland securitythe white house
(Copyright ©2017 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments