U.S. President Donald Trump has replaced White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, naming Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to succeed him. It follows days of infighting at the White House.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” Trump said in a tweet on late Friday afternoon as he sat on Air Force One. “He is a Great American and a Great Leader.”
There were conflicting reports on whether Priebus was fired or resigned by himself. “I resigned privately yesterday,” he told the Wall Street Journal. But a White House official told Reuters that Priebus had been informed earlier this month that he was going to be replaced.
It was not immediately known who Trump plans to nominate to succeed Kelly as the Secretary of Homeland Security. Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke is expected to take over as acting secretary until a replacement has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration,” Trump said in subsequent tweets. “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!”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Kelly will assume his new position on Monday morning. A cabinet meeting is expected to take place later on Monday, she added.
The shake-up follows days of infighting at the White House, which became the focus of attention on Thursday when a journalist from The New Yorker published a story about a call he received from Anthony Scaramucci, the incoming White House Communications Director.
Scaramucci, outraged over leaks, accused Priebus of leaking information to journalists. “Reince Priebus – if you want to leak something – he’ll be asked to resign very shortly,” he was quoted as saying, adding later: “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
It has been a turbulent week at the White House. Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned last Friday over Trump’s appointment of Scaramucci and Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short resigned on Tuesday after Scaramucci told reporters that he planned to fire Short.
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