WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary and retired general John Kelly was sworn in Monday as the White House’s next Chief of Staff.
Kelly assumes the mantle from former Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Reince Priebus, who publicly announced his departure from the White House on Friday. Kelly becomes the first General to serve as chief of staff since Gen. Al Haig served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Following the ceremonial process, Trump praised Kelly’s work at the Department of Homeland Security and told reporters that he think he may do an “even better job as Chief of Staff.”
When asked by a reporter what would be different, Trump cited the economic success his administration has enjoyed.
“I think the general will just add to it,” Trump said.
Kelly joins the White House during what appears to be a tumultuous time for West Wing personnel, tensions that were publicly aired by newly minted Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.
In an expletive-laden exchange with Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, Scaramucci accused Priebus of being a “f—ing paranoid schizophrenic” and used a bizarre sexual metaphor to describe White House strategist Steve Bannon’s apparent attempts to improve his own standing.
On Monday, Trump tweeted that there was, in fact, no chaos among his staff.
Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017
Kelly has reportedly been told that he will be given a greater level of authority in the position that Priebus, who was often-times rolled over by other aides within the White House seeking favor with the President.
Per source familiar: “[Kelly] was given full authority. Everyone goes through him.” (No more wandering in & out of Oval.) story tk on Axios.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 28, 2017
On Sunday, however, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that she had not yet determined if she will report to Kelly or the president.
The retired general served as Commander of Southern Command from 2012 to 2016 and as Homeland Security Secretary from inauguration day through Monday.