New White House chief of staff is battle-toughened leader

Elias Hubbard
July 31, 2017

But he clashed with Scaramucci and had been under siege by Trump advisers inside and outside of the White House who complained that he was ineffectual.

Priebus has been under fire for weeks, seeing one White House ally after another resign or leave, culminating in the departure of press secretary Sean Spicer a week ago.

An ongoing public fighting between Scaramucci and Priebus had dominated the headlines in recent days.

Scaramucci was the latest top aide to be granted a direct line to Trump, and it became increasingly unclear who actually reported to Priebus.

Priebus, the former Republican National Committee head, had been a frequent target of rumors about his job security amid infighting and confusion within the White House and a long whisper campaign by Trump allies.

He said that he did not disclose the change to his staff, presiding over his regular morning meeting of senior staff and accompanying Trump to NY for a speech about efforts to stop the MS-13 street gang.

Priebus' hold on the White House job has always been in question, more so this week after Trump's new communications director badmouthed him to a reporter for the New Yorker. "He is a Great American and a Great Leader. He has been a true star of my Administration".

Kelly retired in 2016 as head of U.S. Southern Command before joining the Trump Cabinet. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security.

Another early departure from the Trump White House was National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump ousted FBI Director James Comey early on.

Kelly is a retired Marine four-star general though he has little experience in civilian government or the legislative process.

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

"He is respected by everyone, especially the people at the Department of Homeland Security".

But Priebus had also been a steady hand inside a West Wing that often found itself off-balance. "Reince is doing a fantastic job at the White House, and I believe he has the president's confidence".

A source close to Priebus said the former Republican National Committee chairman turned in his resignation on Thursday night, after Scaramucci's rant against him was published by the New Yorker magazine.

"I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president's agenda and policies", he said. "I can't think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God's blessings and great success", he said. "We were sitting right across from him and he kept a poker face", King said, referring to Priebus. The Senate confirmed him as major general in 2007.

Three chiefs of staff did indeed serve in the role in three years while Obama was president.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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