President Trump asked John Kelly to remain chief of staff through 2020
- Author: Rogelio Becker Aug 03, 2018,
Aug 03, 2018, 5:19
A White House official told the paper that the retired four-star Marine general, who a year ago told reporters that "it is not the best job I ever had", agreed to Trump's request.
The retired Marine Corps general was Homeland Security secretary before being asked to succeed Reince Priebus, who resigned from his post. That's according to three White House officials Tuesday, who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.
Trump has reportedly considered replacing Kelly with Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's longtime aide and chief of staff, and Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget chief who also serves as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
But Trump has chose to stick with Kelly - for now, at least.
The president later mentioned his top aide's service on Twitter with a photo of the two men smiling and standing side by side. His efforts to centralize lines of reporting - he made a point of asking Trump's own daughter Ivanka to report to him - have gone by the wayside. He's accepted for himself a more circumscribed role, doing his best to ensure Trump has access to all the information he needs to make decisions.
The news breaks just after Kelly reaches his one-year anniversary in the job, prompting wide media speculation that he would finally leave the administration.
Kelly was initially touted for his military background and seen as a force of order and calm in a chaotic White House plagued by a high turnover rate.
Gabriel Sherman, who had previously documented Kelly's misery and ineffectiveness in some detail, has a theory that he's actually getting his revenge on Trump by sticking around, since POTUS wants him to quit but is reluctant to fire him.
A senior administration official confirmed Kelly's announcement, first reported by The Wall Street Journal.