Trump says chief of staff Kelly will leave at end of year

December 8, 2018 GMT

President Trump said Saturday that embattled White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly will leave his job at the end of this month.

“John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year,” the president told reporters at the White House, calling him “a great guy.”

Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, took over the high-pressure post in July 2017 after the ouster of Reince Priebus.

The president said he’ll announce a replacement in the next few days. He is considering Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

Last summer, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Kelly would stay on the job through his reelection bid in 2020. But there has been increasing friction between the two men, including Mr. Trump’s dissatisfaction with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was Mr. Kelly’s hand-picked successor at DHS.

His departure is part of an overall year-end staff shakeup at the White House. On Friday, Mr. Trump announced he will nominate former attorney general William P. Barr as his new attorney general, and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as ambassador to the United Nations.