John Kelly, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, may be stepping down, as early as this summer.
“President Donald Trump is consulting with advisers about whom he should tap as his next chief of staff, with John Kelly expected to depart the administration as early as this summer, possibly soon, according to people familiar with the matter,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
They seem to think that the most likely candidates include the man who serves in that same position for Vice President Mike Pence, Nick Ayers, while the other likely candidate is Mick Mulvaney of the Office of Management and Budget, who also happens to serve as the acting director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The White House is denying the report, according to The Hill.
“I spoke to the president who refuted this article. He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters to reporters who were aboard Air Force One. Despite the denial, the WSJ seems to think Kelly could be leaving as early as this week.
Then again, the president has a busy schedule overseas in July, with the NATO conference in Brussels, followed by a trip to the United Kingdom, and lastly a meeting in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is scheduled for July 16.
Kelly may be waiting to leave until those things are off the president’s plate. The relationship between Trump and his chief of staff has been rocky for quite a while, practically from when Kelly took over the job from Reince Priebus, in July of 2017. As recently as last week, it was reported in the Washington Post that Kelly was against the executive order Trump signed that was to stop the separation of families at the border because Kelly didn’t think it was legal. And then there was the report in Inquisitr that Kelly has given up trying to cover the president politically and has become resigned to the fact that Donald Trump will probably be impeached.
Some reporting: Trump startled aides this AM by demanding an executive order. John Kelly clashed with him, saying it wasn't legal & to leave to Congress. Top lawyer Don McGahn had concerns. Frenzy. Trump said he would sign before leaving. Will it work? https://t.co/ZmqsNPqP8N
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) June 21, 2018
“While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close,” it was reported in Politico.
Of course this is hardly the first report of tension between the two men. NBC News claimed that Kelly had called Trump an “idiot,” albeit in private, mocking his lack of understanding of policy and political matters. If the denials from the White House are correct and Kelly does end up staying, it certainly doesn’t seem like it will be for long.