Friday, 14 December, 2018

In White House Shake-up, Kelly's Departure Now Seems Certain

Trump announces John Kelly is leaving Trump announces John Kelly is leaving
Deanna Wagner | 08 December, 2018, 21:09

"Though Trump asked Kelly over the summer to stay on as chief of staff for two more years, the two have stopped speaking in recent days", CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins wrote on Friday.

Kelly's future in the Trump administration had been uncertain for almost a year, ever since a DailyMail.com report in February revealed domestic abuse allegations against former White House secretary Rob Porter, and raised questions about Kelly's handling of the affair.

CNN reports Kelly and President Donald Trump have reached a stalemate in their relationship and it is no longer seen as tenable by either party. But the president says an announcement about a replacement will be coming in the next day or two. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

Trump has engaged in talks with Nick Ayers, the vice president's chief of staff, about taking over the position, advisers said.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, was tapped by Trump in August 2017 to try to normalize a White House that had been riven by infighting.

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She is a graduate of the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Mount Vernon College in Washington . Since mid-October, she had rarely been seen by reporters at the State Department as Palladino took the lead.

But the story line of Kelly's departure has been protracted for so many months that White House aides often now just shrug.

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

Trump has long admired Kelly for his military valor, but his lack of political experience and interest in campaign strategy has made him an imperfect fit leading the staff of a president who lives and breathes politics.

Trump and Kelly have privately argued at times and complained about each other to confidants, sometimes in colorful language. "Trump's chief of staff is Trump and always will be". On Friday, he announced that he had picked William Barr for attorney general and Heather Nauert for United Nations ambassador.

Trump is further expected to announce Heather Nauert as the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Friday, replacing Nikki Haley. In 2017, Politico report cited three USA government officials who said Kelly's cellphone was compromised throughout the first half of that year, with the suspected breach potentially happening even before he began serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in January.