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Priebus Out! Kelly in as White House Chief of Staff

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Published on: July 30, 2017

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he was replacing former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus with retired Marins Corps General John Kelly.

“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” tweeted Trump.  “He is a Great American and a Great Leader.”

“John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security,” added Trump.  “He has been a true star of my Administration.”

Of course, President Trump also thanked out going Reince Priebus.

“I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country,” Trump tweeted.  “We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!”

Apparently, Priebus was the shortest-servicing White House chief of staff in American history.

Several stories indicated that Priebus was fired.

The New York Times said that Priebus was “ousted” and The Hill presented the story as  Priebus’ “removal” was “tawdry, awkward.”

However, some reports are that Priebus resigned.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this president and our country,” said Priebus in a statement.  “I want to thank the president for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president’s agenda and policies. I can’t think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God’s blessings and great success.”

The Washington Times reports:

Sitting in the White House for his first interview since his resignation, Priebus told CNN that he and the president had spoken about his departure for days before he tendered his resignation on Thursday.

“This is not a situation where there’s a bunch of ill will,” Priebus said. “I think the president wanted to go in a different direction — I support him in that.”

He added, “The president has a right to hit the reset button.”

Allies to Priebus said he told them he had resigned because the internal chaos had become “unsustainable,” and that he felt demeaned by the president’s treatment of him. One friend said Priebus told him he was frustrated that he could not assert control over basic White House functions, such as policy development, communications and even formal announcements — which sometimes were made impulsively by the president, such as this week’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Defenders of Priebus said he was given an impossible job of managing a president who chafed at attempts to control his more rash impulses.

But White House officials said privately that the decision for Priebus to depart was made by Trump. It was announced after Priebus presided over the Friday morning senior staff meeting and accompanied Trump to a law enforcement event in New York.

Priebus and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci clashed with each other as soon as Scaramucci was brought on board.

Scaramuccit immediately accused Priebus of being a White House leaker.

“Kelly has formed a bond with the president over recent months that was fortified when he aggressively defended the travel ban policy and has only grown stronger since then, with Trump telling aides that he sees Kelly as someone who dutifully follows through on his agenda and does not ever cause him problems, according to two White House officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly,” The Washington Post reported, quoting more “leakers.”

Scaramucci also likened the relationship between him and Priebus to that of Cain and Abel, and in a New York Times piece said that Priebus was a “paranoid schizophrenic.”

In either case, I’m not necessarily sad to see Priebus go, but I have to ask what in the world are the qualifications for putting General Kelly in as chief of staff?

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