Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with general Kelly

Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with general Kelly

President Donald Trump announced via his Twitter account Friday afternoon that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has been replaced.

After months of speculation about Priebus' fate, Trump tweeted the decision just as he landed in Washington after an event in NY in which he lavishly praised Kelly's performance at Homeland Security.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, a frequent Trump critic, said that, as Homeland Security chief, Kelly has "been very effective in engaging members of Congress and communicating a coherent message for the President".

After frequent conversations with Kelly, Trump recently warmed up to the idea of naming Kelly chief of staff to more effectively manage personnel and offered it to him earlier this week, a senior White House official said. He is a Great American ... and a Great Leader.

"I'm on Team Trump and I look forward to helping him achieve his goals and his agenda for the American people". Trump said in a tweet.

The president's announcement comes a day after his new communications director aired his grievances with White House colleagues in a profanity-laden interview.

Kelly is close to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, fellow Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., a fellow Bostonian who in 2010 took on the task of donning a service uniform and knocking at Kelly's then Washington Navy Yard home to notify him that his son Robert was dead.

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Priebus came under even more scrutiny recently when Trump brought on financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. He also suggested that Priebus would be fired if he were found to be a source for leaks to the press. He went on in the interview to say that Trump needed to end the "chaos" in the White House. Scaramucci compared himself and Priebus to the Biblical brothers Cain and Abel. "We'll be working on a transition", he said. "I'm not going to get into the mud, " Priebus said. "I can't think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God's blessings and great success", he said.

"Reince is a good man", Trump told reporters as he returned from a domestic trip.

The lone voice coming to Priebus' defense Thursday was House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the fellow Wisconsinite a "close friend" and said, "I think he's doing a great job as chief of staff". Those who have departed include former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, former communications chief Mike Dubke, press secretary Sean Spicer and press aide Michael Short.

The chief of staff made an appearance Thursday at an East Room event where Trump honored first responders, acting as if nothing was amiss.

But those who hoped Kelly, with his sterling military credentials, would be a moderating influence have been disappointed. Scaramucci was angling for the chief of staff position, but Priebus was named instead.

Both Scaramucci and Priebus traveled to New York's Long Island with Trump on Friday for a speech in which the president highlighted efforts to crack down on the gang MS-13. He defended the orders to reporters and lawmakers and insisted that he indeed had been part of the decision-making process.