Another day, another White House shake-up.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump told reporters John Kelly would leave his chief of staff position by the end of the month. POTUS shared the news as he departed D.C. for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.
"John Kelly will be leaving—I don't know if I can say retiring—but he's a great guy," Trump said. "John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We'll be announcing who will be taking John's place. It might be on an interim basis. I'll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year [...] I appreciate his service very much."
The move doesn't come as a surprise. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, served as secretary of homeland security in the first half of 2017, and was named chief of staff in July of that year. Since then, there have been a number of rumors about Kelly's impending departure, as his relationship with Trump had reportedly become turbulent. According to an April report by the Associated Press, sources claimed the president was growing increasingly frustrated with Kelly's strict implementations, like ending Trump's open-door Oval Office policy and limiting staffers' direct access to Trump.
NBC News later published a report in which eight current and former White House staffers, claimed Kelly paints himself "as the lone bulwark against catastrophe" and had become increasingly concerned about Trump's policy ignorance. The sources also said Kelly had referred to Trump as an "idiot" multiple times—claims that were also made in Bob Woodward's scathing book, Fear: Trump in the White House. Kelly denied the allegations.
"The idea I ever called the president an idiot is not true," Kelly said in a statement released by the White House. "He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS."
CNN reports Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, is a leading contender to replace Kelly.