NEW YORK CITY — Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said he was “doing great” and dispelled rumours that he resigned under pressure after an extraordinary week in the Oval Office.
“I resigned and he accepted it,” Priebus said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday, referring to President Donald Trump. “We talked all the time about this subject. Anytime we want to go a different direction, either one of us, we talk about it.”
Homeland Security Secretary and former Marine Corps general John Kelly will replace Priebus, who was chairman of the Republican Party before he joined the Trump administration.
“I just had a good conversation with General Kelly and the president, and I think you may know, I’ve been obviously talking to the president for a few days about this and ultimately I formally resigned [Thursday]. And you know, the president was great.”
“I think General Kelly is a brilliant pick,” Priebus continued. “We’ll be working on a transition here for a couple of weeks together with General Kelly starting on Monday morning.”
Priebus also sought to quell rumours of a bitter rivalry amongst senior White House aides, particularly following Anthony Scaramucci’s hiring as communications director. Scaramucci, who was rumoured to have a contentious relationship with Priebus, called him a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” during a phone call with a reporter, was said to have accused Priebus of leaking information to the media.
“So this is not like a situation where there’s a bunch of ill-will feelings,” Priebus said. “This is, I think, good for the president.”
“The president has a right to change direction, the president has a right to hit a reset button,” Priebus continued. “I think it’s a good time to hit the reset button. I think he was right to hit the reset button. And I think that it was something that I think the White House needs. I think it’s healthy and I support him in it.”
Priebus also affirmed his commitment to Trump’s presidency, noting that he was “always going to be a Trump fan.”
“I’m on Team Trump and I look forward to helping him achieve his goals and his agenda for the American people,” Priebus said. “I support him in making sure that the American people see and realise the work that he’s done.”
Trump also thanked Priebus for his service on Friday: “We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him,” Trump tweeted.
Watch clips of the interview below:
Blitzer: Did the President ask you to resign?
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