Priebus Out As Chief Of Staff, Trump Names Kelly As Replacement

(CBSDFW/CBSNEWS) – President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he has named Ret. Gen. John Kelly to replace Reince Priebus as the new White House chief of staff.

The four-star general was already working in the Trump administration, serving as the secretary of homeland security. He starts his new role Monday.

UT Arlington political science Professor Allan Saxe said he believes Kelly is perfect for the job.

“What President Trump needs to do, if I can be so bold to say what he needs to do, is to bring some order and respect into the White House,” said Saxe. “President Trump has to discipline himself as well as those around him.”

The resignation marks the fifth major exit from the White house under Trump.

“Some people would say that’s natural during the early days of an administration, he’s trying to get his feet. But he can’t he can’t take too much more of this,” said Saxe.

Former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Priebus shook off the negative notion of his departure when he spoke with CNN Friday evening.

“This is not a situation where there’s a bunch of ill feelings,” said Priebus to CNN. “This is good for the President.  I think it’s smart to hire John Kelly and I think things are going to run well.”

Professor Saxe agrees, but notes the changes are creating a distraction from pressing issues like the undress in the Middle East and North Korea.

“We don’t hear about it every day because these incidents have shoved those problems off of the board,” said Saxe.

 

Priebus released a brief statement shortly after the announcement.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this president and our country,” Priebus said. “I want to thank the president for giving me this very special opportunity.  I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president’s agenda and policies. 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.”

The Friday afternoon announcement comes after a week of turmoil in the White House, in which the president’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, assailed Priebus in a profanity-laced interview with the New Yorker. President Trump posted the tweets from Air Force One on his way back to the White House from New York. Both Priebus and Scaramucci accompanied him on the trip.

Priebus’ departure, coming exactly one week after White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced his, is not necessarily a surprise. Priebus has had a diminished profile in the White House for weeks, and the president hasn’t exactly expressed support for him. On Thursday, Sanders declined to tell reporters whether the president still had confidence in his chief of staff.

He was brought on in an effort to provide Washington know-how to a president with no experience holding public office. Other RNC allies brought aboard included Spicer and Kate Walsh, who became deputy White House chief of staff. Walsh is now gone, and Spicer is on his way out.

Priebus and Scaramucci have long been at odds. Scaramucci was reportedly angling for the chief of staff position before President Trump took office, but Priebus was named instead. When Scaramucci joined the White House staff last week, it became clear that he would have some of the responsibilities and access normally designated only to the chief of staff. Scaramucci, in his first White House press briefing, said he would report to the president directly, rather than to Priebus, and said he had the authority to fire people.

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