Key Trump aide Kelly to leave job
Chief of staff’s decision comes amid an expected West Wing reshuffling |
John Kelly, the retired Marine general tapped as chief of staff by President Donald Trump last year to bring order to his chaotic White House, will leave the job by the end of the year, Trump said yesterday, the latest departure from the president’s inner circle after a bruising midterm election for his party.
Trump, speaking with reporters, said that he would announce a replacement for Kelly in the next day or two.
“John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,’” Trump said. “But he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year.”
The leading candidate to replace Kelly is Nick Ayers, Vice-President Mike Pence’s 36-year-old chief of staff and a Republican political operative, who possesses the kind of savvy about campaigns that Trump has craved. Kelly, a career military officer before becoming Trump’s first homeland security secretary, lacked such experience.
Kelly’s coming departure leaves Trump with an ever-shrinking team of close advisers as he begins to navigate the new power structure on Capitol Hill that will be ushered in next month when Democrats assume control of the House.