White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is leaving his job, President Donald Trump announced Friday on Twitter. Trump said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will replace Preibus.
Preibus's job security has been tenuous for months, growing more so in recent days as Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, went after his colleague publicly and privately — with Trump's "green light."
Kelly was expected to start the job “immediately” though administration staff thought the hire wasn’t going to be announced until next week, a Trump administration official told The Daily Beast.
“The president has tried multiple times to get the secretary to take this position, for the past couple of months,” said the official, who was familiar with the president’s thinking on hiring Kelly.
“Given how close things were to going off the rails, we really needed the general in this job,” the official added, speaking anonymously because he was not allowed to discuss the decision by name.
The official said Trump had grown to rely on Kelly in cabinet meetings to bring discipline to the conversation, since taking the DHS job.
“When the president gets conflicting advice from his advisers, Kelly steers the conversation from the Situation Room room to the Oval office to help the commander in chief get the advice he needs in a way that very few people around him have managed,” the official said.