Politics

Trump: John Kelly Leaving White House

(Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Vince Coglianese and Saagar Enjeti Editorial Director and White House Correspondent

White House chief of staff General John Kelly will leave his position at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters before departing for the Army-Navy game Saturday.

President-elect Donald Trump points at U.S. Marine Corps General John Kelly before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster, New Jersey. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump points at U.S. Marine Corps General John Kelly before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“John Kelly will be leaving – I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring.’ But, he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place… I’ll be announcing that over the next day or two. But, John will be leaving at the end of the year. He’s been with me almost two years now… John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year, at the end of the year,” Trump said, according to the White House press pool.

Trump spoke with Kelly Friday about the situation and the pair agreed to part ways, according to a source close to Kelly. The source continued that Kelly intended to make the announcement Monday, but that the president got ahead of him. The source characterized the departure as neither a firing nor a resignation.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly answers questions during a press conference related to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order concerning travel and refugees, January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Monday night, President Donald Trump fired the acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she released a statement saying the Justice Department would not enforce the president’s executive order that places a temporary ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump’s announcement marks the end of tremendous speculation in Washington about Kelly’s departure. Media reports abounded Friday that Kelly was expected to resign, though a knowledgeable source directly familiar with the matter told The Daily Caller the chief of staff had no intention of doing so. This intention may have changed after the Friday conversation.

Another knowledgable source directly familiar with the matter told TheDC Friday that Trump had made the decision to oust Kelly some time ago. This source added that the job is likely to be assumed by Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers.   (RELATED: Liberal Commentator Calls John Kelly A ‘Coward’)