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May 25, 2019

White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to step down sometime this summer

June 28, 2018
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly may leave post this summer. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration is prepping for another departure.

White House chief of staff John Kelly is ready to leave his post and could step down as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Kelly may stick around until after President Trump’s upcoming European trip, but he doesn’t intend to remain with the White House past July 31. The former Marine general replaced Reince Priebus on that date last year.

Trump is already looking at replacements and has zeroed in on Nick Ayers, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, and Mick Mulvaney, who currently heads the Office of Management and Budget and is the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Kelly was initially touted for his military background and seen as a force of order and calm in a chaotic West Wing. But he has often found himself at the center of the myriad controversies that have embroiled the Trump administration.

Kelly’s credibility took its biggest hit in February when domestic abuse allegations emerged against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Kelly defended Porter amid concerns over security and other issues.

Trump and Kelly have reportedly grown distant in recent months. In April, Kelly denied reports that he called Trump an “idiot” and mocked his lack of policy knowledge.

The White House has been plagued by turnover as top staffers have made their way to the exits faster than past administrations. Roughly half of the people who have held top spots within the West Wing have departed.

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