Trump's chief of staff John Kelly to leave at end of year

Trump's chief of staff John Kelly to leave at end of year

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.

File picture shows White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stepping off Air Force One as US President Donald Trump arrived to participate in a briefing on Hurricane Florence recovery efforts in Havelock, North Carolina, September 19, 2018.

Trump is actively discussing a replacement plan, though a person involved in the process said nothing is final right now and ultimately nothing is final until Trump announces it.

Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, has emerged as the clear favorite to replace Kelly.

The widespread expectation is that Kelly will resign. But aides feel the relationship can't be salvaged this time.

There have been persistent reports for several days that Mr Kelly was under pressure to leave. He has complained repeatedly that Kelly is not politically savvy.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reported on Friday that Trump and Kelly had reached a "stalemate in their relationship", and had stopped speaking to one another. Numerous storms in which Kelly became embroiled were by his own making.

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A separate report from ABC says a White House senior staff meeting this morning was cancelled. Kelly is reportedly on his way out. Ryder referred other questions to the White House.

Rumors of Kelly's departure have been circulating since last month's midterm elections.

According to almost a dozen current and former administration officials and outside confidants, Trump has even begun telling people to contact the man long viewed as Kelly's likely successor. Kelly started holding increasingly fewer senior staff meetings - once daily occurrences were whittled down to weekly gatherings - and began to exert less control over who talks to the President.

Kelly had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary.

"Sure, Trump says he wants him gone, and Kelly swears and leaves and says he's not coming back".

The interview took place in recent months, the news network said, attributing the information to three people with knowledge of the matter. The lights were off in his West Wing office.

Developing story, check back for updates.

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