NEW YORK CITY — US President Donald Trump dismissed Reince Priebus as his chief of staff on Friday, following reports of an escalating feud between Priebus and new communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who called Priebus “a f—— paranoid schizophrenic” in an explosive New Yorker interview earlier this week.
Priebus’ job security was long questioned before his ultimate departure, as he continued to fall out of favour with a president who increasingly leans on a trusted few confidants in his inner circle, many of whom, the Washington Post reported, expressed discontent to Trump about Priebus’ effectiveness as chief of staff.
As Trump began souring on Priebus, he also tasked him with a number of menial responsibilities including, at one point, killing a fly that was buzzing over his head in the Oval Office, one official familiar with the incident told the Post.
Trump’s misgivings about Priebus dated back to last October, when Priebus advised Trump that he should drop out of the presidential election after a tape emerged of him bragging about sexually harassing women and getting away with it because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
One senior official described that moment in October as “a stain [Priebus] was never going to remove. The scarlet ‘A.H.'”
And leading up to Priebus’ final days as chief of staff, Trump’s complaints to other senior staff reached “fever pitch,” the official said. “The word was ‘weak’ — ‘weak,’ ‘weak.’ ‘Can’t get it done.'”
Priebus will be replaced by John Kelly, who currently serves as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.