Trump Says Chief of Staff Kelly Will Leave at Year's End

A retired Marine general, John Kelly has served as chief of staff since July 2017 ■ President says an announcement on replacement will come in the next few days

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media beside Air Force One, May 2018.
\ Carlos Barria/ REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump says chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job at the end of the year.

Trump isn’t saying immediately who will replace Kelly, a retired Marine general who has served as chief of staff since July 2017. But the president says an announcement about a replacement will be coming in the next day or two.

Trump spoke to reporters at the White House before departing for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

He calls Kelly “a great guy.”

The West Wing shake-up comes as Trump is anticipating the challenge of governing and oversight when Democrats take control of the House in January, and as gears up for his own campaign for re-election in 2020.

On November 7, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation after unrelenting criticism from Trump over his recusal from an investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential race.

Trump appointed Matthew G. Whitaker as attorney general following Sessions' resignation. Critics worry that Whitaker may be unlikely or unwilling to defend the Department of Justice’s independence against political interference by the White House, given his history of partisanship and loyalty to Trump. 

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to sentence U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to a "substantial" prison term for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump's behalf and evading taxes, and detailed alleged lies by another former Trump aide. 

Cohen, who has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 election campaign, pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York, and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week.