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.
“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.
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’)