Donald Trump has a new Chief of Staff. The President named Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as his new White House chief of staff after Reince Priebus resigned Thursday. The news about the staffing shake up comes just one week after Sean Spicer’s departure and may be part of a larger overhaul.
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“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. 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,” Trump tweeted.
The news of Kelly’s appointment comes amid speculation that White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was going to purge the President’s staff in an effort to quell leaks.
Thought Priebus resigned Thursday, CNN reports, news of his departure was not made public until Friday. The President spoke to reporters Friday afternoon. “Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job,” Trump told reporters. “General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He’s a great great American. Reince is a good man.”
Priebus was added to the Trump team because of established connections in Washington. Yet he was unable to stop the leaks. His role in the White House was further complicated by Trump’s reliance on the advice of his children, who reportedly felt no need to work through Priebus.
Priebus was brought in with Steve Bannon who was appointed chief strategist. The President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, followed as senior adviser. The President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, then became more actively and officially involved.
Anthony Scaramucci, though, spoke openly about his disdain for Priebus. He even went so far as to claim that the leaks themselves were Priebus’s fault.
Picking Priebus, who served for six years as the head of The Republican National Committee, seemed out of character for a President intent on draining-the-swamp. But he came highly recommended and his presence seemed to acknowledge the need for connection in a city built on those connections.