White House chief of staff to remain in his post

White House confirms John Kelly has agreed to remain in his post through the 2020 presidential election.

Ben Ariel,

John Kelly
John Kelly
Reuters

White House chief of staff John Kelly has agreed to remain in his post through the 2020 presidential election, a White House official said Tuesday, according to The Hill, thus quelling rumors of an imminent departure due to tensions with President Donald Trump.

The official confirmed that Kelly told members of the White House staff on Monday that Trump had asked him to stay in the White House and that Kelly said he would abide by the request.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as somewhat of a surprise given Kelly's tumultuous tenure in the West Wing.

Kelly, a former general, was hired to reign in Trump's freewheeling White House instead of Reince Priebus, and quickly made his mark, pushing out former aides Steve Bannon and Anthony Scaramucci. Reports going back as far as October spoke of a split between Kelly and Trump, and said that Kelly would soon depart the White House.

On Monday, Kelly celebrated his first anniversary as chief of staff. Trump marked the occasion on Twitter with a photo of the two men smiling and standing beside one another.

"One year today, right? He became my chief of staff, Gen. Kelly," Trump said minutes earlier during a ceremony in the Oval Office.

Kelly has reportedly made it more difficult for people inside and outside the White House to gain access to Trump, but the president has bristled at those constraints and Kelly has angered some influential Trump loyalists.

Kelly also found himself embroiled in his own controversy earlier this year over his handling of spousal abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

Those dynamics caused friction with the president, who has reportedly been sounding out possible replacements for Kelly in recent weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Kelly was expected to leave his position by July. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Vice President Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, have both been mentioned as potential successors to Kelly.

The White House denied the report at the time.




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