Washington: Ending months of speculation, United States President Donald Trump on Saturday said that White House chief of staff John Kelly will step down from his post at the end of this year.
“John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year,” CNN quoted Trump as saying to reporters outside the White House.
On Friday, the American cable network reported that Kelly would resign from his post over his fractious relationship with Trump over a number of issues.
Thanking Kelly for serving him for nearly two years as chief of staff, Trump further said: “I appreciate his service very much.”
Trump and Kelly have reportedly stopped speaking to each other in the recent days. The US President is actively discussing a plan for Kelly’s replacement, although an insider said that nothing is clear as of now and nothing would be final until a replacement was announced.
Nick Ayers, who is US Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, is seen as a leading contender and is likely to succeed Kelly.
Ever since Kelly took over the post from his previous role as US Homeland Security secretary in July last year, he reportedly shared a “tense relationship” with Trump. There have been previous instances where it was reported that Kelly was stepping down from his role.
In the last few months, Kelly’s role began to diminish as the US President evaded most of the policies and protocols he had enacted and Kelly was on the verge of being fired several times.
With the Democrats set to take over the House of Representatives in January 2019 following the midterm elections last month, Trump is becoming seriously concerned over the same and has privately said that Kelly is not “politically savvy”.