- White House chief of staff John Kelly told staffers on Monday that President Donald Trump asked him to stay in his powerful West Wing position through 2020.
- Kelly told staffers that he agreed to the president’s ask, despite reportedly telling colleagues in recent months that he did not intend to stay in his role past his one-year mark.
- Trump has reportedly considered replacing Kelly, with whom he’s clashed over management style.
White House chief of staff John Kelly told staffers on Monday that President Donald Trump asked him to stay in his powerful West Wing position through 2020, despite widespread expectation that Kelly would leave the White House soon after his one-year mark in the job on Monday.
Kelly told staffers that he agreed to the president’s ask, despite reportedly telling colleagues in recent months that he did not intend to stay in his role past his one-year mark.
The news – first reported by the The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday – comes after a few months of improved relations between Kelly and Trump, who has by most accounts resisted the more disciplined approach his top aide intended to impose in the West Wing.
Trump tweeted a photo of himself with Kelly on Monday to celebrate his deputy’s first year.
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.
Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general who served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the first months of 2017, took over from former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus last July.
Trump was reportedly privately furious for Kelly’s handling of the scandal surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned from his post after his two former wives publicly accused him of domestic abuse. Kelly was accused of sitting on the explosive allegations and defending Porter even after graphic photographic evidence of the abuse surfaced.
Nearly a month after Porter’s resignation, Kelly admitted that he mishandled his response to the allegations against Porter.
“We didn’t cover ourselves in glory,” Kelly told a gathering of reporters last March.
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