White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign

Blanche Robertson
December 8, 2018

If confirmed by the Senate, Barr will take over for acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker.

Milley interviewed with Trump for the position on November 14 for more than an hour, according to another source.

After telling reporters on Friday he would nominate William Barr to be the next attorney general and Heather Nauert as the US ambassador to the United Nations, the president hinted that another personnel move is coming.

He says: "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession".

The president reportedly plans to make the announcement at Saturday's annual Army-Navy football game. But there is a holiday senior staff dinner scheduled for Friday night and people said they expected Kelly to be there.

Kelly's tenure working for Trump was pocked with controversies, and officials were often amazed at how he managed to survive.

The White House senior staff meeting Friday morning was canceled, according to three officials.

Still, both are said to be ready for Kelly to move on.

According to Axios, Kelly will be replaced by Nick Ayers, who now works as chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence.

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Most of the other witnesses interviewed were connected to Trump's campaign, but Kelly didn't join the administration until after the president was sworn in in January 2017.

A source told Reuters last month that Trump was considering a replacement for Kelly. But the strained relationship between the president and Kelly, 68, a retired marine corps general and former homeland security secretary, has been widely chronicled.

Trump had earlier pledged publicly that Kelly would remain through his first term in office, though many in the West Wing were skeptical.

Kelly has seen his status as chief of staff diminished in recent months, with the President circumventing numerous policies and protocols the retired Marine Corps general put in place when he entered the West Wing a year ago.

This is is far from the first time Kelly has been rumoured to be on the brink.

Trump and Kelly have privately argued at times and complained about one another to confidants, sometimes in colourful language.

The officials confirmed the decision Friday on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has been nominated as the next USA ambassador to the United Nations. "It's not his strength", Trump said.

Nauert, 48, joined the State Department previous year with no government experience after a career as an anchor and correspondent at Fox News.

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