In this May 17, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump talks with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly during commencement exercises at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. Trump named Kelly as his new Chief of Staff on July 28, ousting Reince Priebus. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump pushes out chief of staff Reince Priebus

U.S. president names Homeland Security head John Kelly as replacement

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Friday he was appointing Homeland Security head John Kelly to be White House chief of staff, ending the tumultuous six-month tenure of Reince Priebus.

After months of speculation about Priebus’ fate, Trump tweeted the decision just as he landed in Washington after an event in New York in which he lavishly praised Kelly’s performance at Homeland Security.

Priebus, the former Republican National Committee head, was the frequent target of rumours about his job security, the victim of a long whisper campaign by Trump allies and the subject of a remarkable public rebuke this week by the new White House communications director.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter: “I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American … and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”

He also saluted Priebus, the chief of staff he had just pushed out.

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

Speaking to reporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, Trump said: “Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job.”

Kelly is a retired Marine four-star general.

Priebus never could bring a semblance of order to the team of in-fighting rivals that populate Trump’s West Wing, and questions about his future have long swirled around the office. Those questions sharply escalated this week with the arrival of Anthony Scaramucci, the hard-charging communications director who was hired over Priebus’ objections.

Priebus’ already tense relationship with Scaramucci took a darker turn over the past two days when the communications chief suggested in a late-night tweet that Priebus was one of the “leakers” that Trump has railed against. The New Yorker published an interview Thursday in which Scaramucci called Priebus, amid an avalanche of vulgarity, a “paranoid schizophrenic”

Both Scaramucci and Priebus travelled to New York’s Long Island with Trump on Friday for an event where the president highlighted efforts to crack down on the gang MS-13. Priebus took the return flight to Washington, his fate sealed in the tweets that were sent by the president just as he stepped off the plane. Priebus did not respond to reporters’ shouted questions.

From day one, Priebus’ power has been limited compared with past officials with his title. In a highly unusual arrangement, Trump said at the outset that Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon would serve as “equal partners” in implementing his agenda.

Priebus, who hails from Wisconsin and has deep ties House Speaker Paul Ryan, had grown increasingly isolated in the White House, as past Republican National Committee colleagues and other allies have left or been pushed out of the West Wing. Those who have departed include former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer and press aide Michael Short.

Scaramucci was the latest top aide to be granted a direct line to Trump, and it became increasingly unclear who actually reported to Priebus.

Jonathan Lemire And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Musical business owner creates Christmas music CD

Artist has produced album of seasonal favourites

Area taxpayers asked to fund museum staff

Nakusp museum seeks full-time part-time adminstrator

Nakusp agencies to address local housing crisis

Affordable, supported housing projects may break ground in 2018

Baby boom boosts Burton school talk

District would consider reopening if funding available, parents commit

CUPE, Nakusp agree to new contract

There’s labour peace in the village for two more years

VIDEO: When Maia meets Clara

New to dance, Nakusp teen takes on big role in Ballet Victoria’s Nutcracker

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers use drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in B.C.’s Interior

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read