White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to step down soon

White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to step down soon

John Kelly is expected to resign as US President Donald Trump's chief of staff in the coming days, CNN reported today, citing unnamed sources.

The leading candidate to replace Kelly is Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff and a Republican political operative, who possesses the kind of savvy about campaigns that Trump has craved. Kelly first served as the secretary of Homeland Security before transitioning to the West Wing and succeeding Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff. Kelly has been in his current position for 17 months.

Baier said this is the latest in a series of notable departures from the Trump administration, and although turnover is common after a midterm election, "this administration has seen more than most".

Kelly had planned to announce his departure to senior staff members Monday, but Trump pre-empted him on the South Lawn on Saturday afternoon. Kelly did not make an announcement about his plans, and Trump, in his remarks at the gathering, was very gracious to him, the person said.

Nick Ayers, who now serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, has always been suspected as Kelly's likely replacement.

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Kelly, too, has made no secret of the trials of his job and has often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he'd done before, including on the battlefield. In recent months, the chief of staff's power has ebbed, with administration policies and decisions being guided more by the president's gut instincts than by Kelly's processes.

But reports that Kelly and Trump are no longer speaking are overblown, the people said. As Trump spoke to the media in a visit to Trump Tower in New York, Kelly sat by the side, grimacing.

Trump is further expected to announce Heather Nauert as the new United States ambassador to the UN on Friday, replacing Nikki Haley. He insulted Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, using inaccurate information, later declaring he would "never" apologize.

Three months earlier, he told reporters on Capitol Hill that some undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children were "too lazy" to sign up for a program protecting them from deportation.

This story is breaking and being updated.

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