Trump says John Kelly will leave the White House before 2019, and is ‘a great guy’

President Trump announced on Dec. 8 that his chief of staff, John Kelly, will leave the White House by the end of the year.

“John Kelly will be leaving. I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,’ but he’s a great guy,” Trump told reporters. He added that he will announce his replacement in the next two days, and that that person might have the job on an interim basis.

Axios reported the day before that Nick Ayers, who is Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, might replace Kelly.

Kelly, 68, was in the Marines for over four decades, and retired as a four-star general. He began as chief of staff on July 31, 2017.

In July 2018, Trump said that Kelly would stay in his position until the 2020 reelection, but the president subsequently was non-committal about it.

As The Wall Street Journal points out, Kelly’s departure adds to record-setting turnover at the White House. “An analysis by the Brookings Institution in October showed that turnover among senior staff stood at 83%, higher than any of Mr. Trump’s five predecessors.”

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