Trump confirms John Kelly is leaving White House

Trump confirms John Kelly is leaving White House

Chief of Staff John Kelly's impending departure from the White House had been rumored for weeks amid reports of tensions between him and the president.(Loree Lewis/TMN)

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump said Saturday that John Kelly will be stepping down as White House chief of staff toward the end of the month.

Speaking to reporters from the White House South Lawn, Trump said Kelly’s replacement will be named within days, noting that they could serve in an interim capacity.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, has been rumored to be next in line.

While relations between Trump and the retired general have reportedly been icy in recent weeks, the president showed no signs of tension Saturday.

“He’s a great guy,” Trump said.

Kelly has served as chief of staff since July, leaving the top spot at the Department of Homeland Security to replace Reince Priebus.

Kelly’s departure represents the latest development in an ongoing administration shake-up.

On Friday, Trump announced that he will nominate former Attorney General William Barr to lead the Justice Department and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump also tweeted Saturday that Gen. Mark Milley will be assuming the role of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff once current chair, Gen. Joseph Dunford, retires.

While Dunford was expected to step down in October, Trump said the transition date will “be determined.”

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