President Donald Trump replaced his chief of staff on Friday, announcing on Twitter that he had appointed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to the job.
The ouster of Reince Priebus, who said he resigned Thursday, caps a week of heightened infighting at the White House, where Priebus had been embroiled in a public feud with Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” Trump said on Twitter. “He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”
Priebus and Scaramucci both traveled with Trump for a crime speech in Long Island on Friday. The former chief of staff declined to speak with reporters traveling with the president after returning.
He and two other senior Trump aides, Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino, got into a van in Trump’s motorcade at Joint Base Andrews shortly before Trump’s tweet, and then Miller and Scavino got out and entered a different vehicle.
Trump was aboard Air Force One as his tweets were issued. He left the plane at about 5:01 p.m. in New York.
“Reince is a good man,” Trump told reporters as he left the aircraft. “Secretary Kelly is a star, and he’ll do a good job.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned last week after Scaramucci was hired. Spicer and Priebus were friends and allies, having worked together at the Republican National Committee before joining the White House.
Priebus leaves the White House after less than seven months as Trump’s top adviser. His departure comes after Trump lost a major legislative battle early Friday when the Senate failed to pass legislation repealing Obamacare.
Spicer and Priebus came from the Republican establishment and were always outsiders, to a degree, in a White House Trump won on his credentials as a political maverick.
Troubled Relationship, Power Balance