On Saturday, President Donald Trump said White House chief of staff John Kelly would be leaving his post “at the end of the year,” and that Kelly’s replacement would be announced “over the next day or two.”
Three days later, neither of those statements hold up.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway broke the news on Fox News Tuesday morning, as flagged by the Washington Post.
“He will stay on the job through Jan. 2 at least, and I think there will be a very peaceful and pragmatic transition to the next chief of staff,” she said, referring to Kelly.
The turbulence over Kelly’s replacement seems to have begun when Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers — previously seen as a top contender to take over for Kelly — announced he would be leaving the Trump administration altogether. He reportedly balked at Trump’s suggestion that he would be a long-term chief of staff, rather than a temporary interim chief. Trump was reportedly “super pissed.”
“Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington,” he wondered into the void.
Conway: John Kelly "will stay on the job through January 2 at least." pic.twitter.com/vc1nVGC4ph
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 11, 2018