PRIEBUS SENT PACK­ING

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin

With a tweet, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ended the tur­bu­lent six-month ten­ure of Reince Priebus, near right, as his chief of staff. Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John Kelly, far right, will take his place, and Trump hopes the re­tired gen­eral can give his ad­min­is­tra­tion the mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline it needs. »

WASH­ING­TON» His White House in tur­moil, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump abruptly an­nounced late Fri­day he was ap­point­ing Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John Kelly to be his chief of staff, end­ing the tu­mul­tuous six-month ten­ure of Reince Priebus.

Af­ter months of spec­u­la­tion about Priebus’ fate, Trump tweeted his de­ci­sion just as he landed in Wash­ing­ton af­ter a speech in New York in which he lav­ishly praised Kelly’s per­for­mance at Home­land Se­cu­rity.

Priebus, the for­mer Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee head, was the fre­quent tar­get of ru­mors about his job se­cu­rity amid in­fight­ing within the White House and a long whis­per cam­paign by Trump al­lies. Then, he was the sub­ject of a re­mark­able pub­lic re­buke by the new White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor.

Priebus told al­lies he of­fered his res­ig­na­tion Thurs­day.

Trump’s Twit­ter an­nounce­ment said, “I am pleased to in­form you that I have just named Gen­eral/ Sec­re­tary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great Amer­i­can ... and a Great Leader. John has also done a spec­tac­u­lar job at Home­land Se­cu­rity. He has been a true star of my Ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

He also saluted Priebus. “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion to his coun­try. We ac­com­plished a lot to­gether and I am proud of him!”

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. Trump had fo­cused on him in re­cent days, telling those close to him that he be­lieved mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline was what his ad­min­is­tra­tion needed.

Priebus never could bring or­der to the team of in­fight­ing 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 hard­charg­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor who was hired over Priebus’ ob­jec­tions.

Priebus’ al­ready tense re­la­tion­ship with Scara­mucci took a darker turn when the com­mu­ni­ca­tions chief sug­gested in a tweet that Priebus was one of the “leak­ers” that Trump has railed against. The New Yorker mag­a­zine pub­lished an in­ter­view Thurs­day in which Scara­mucci called Priebus a “para­noid schiz­o­phrenic.”

Priebus’ term ends in fewer than 200 days, the short­est ten­ure for any pres­i­dent’s first White House chief of staff since the post was for­mally es­tab­lished in 1946. 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 was blamed by some in the White House for the Repub­li­can health care plan fail­ure, with some Trump al­lies be­liev­ing Priebus’ long­time re­la­tion­ships with Repub­li­cans should have en­sured pas­sage.

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