President Trump said Saturday that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly will leave his post by the end of the year, capping the retired Marine general’s rocky tenure as the president’s top aide and marking another personnel change in a White House dominated by departures.
“John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring.’ But, he’s a great guy,” Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House. “John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year, at the end of the year.”
White House officials said the two men had a private discussion Friday after months of mounting frustration on the part of the president about his chief of staff and nonstop speculation about Kelly’s future. Kelly is likely to be replaced by Nick Ayers, the vice president’s chief of staff, who possesses a more political mind, ahead of the president’s 2020 reelection campaign.