Is John Kelly headed for the exits?

01 Juillet, 2018, 03:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • GettyImages-984478168

President Donald Trump is speaking with advisers about potential replacements for White House chief of staff John Kelly, who could be leaving his position this summer and possibly even within the next week, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

FILE PHOTO: ‪Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers listens during a working lunch with U.S. President Donald Trump, the Vice President and governors in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2018. But the President has been privately polling aides and outside advisers for months now on possible successors, while maintaining to Kelly that he is happy with the job he is doing.

If Kelly opts to step down, Trump will be forced to hire his third chief of staff. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Preibus, was ousted from his post last July. "He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news", White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, according to The Hill.

"I've also spoken to General Kelly, who said this was news to him", Walters added. The infamously mercurial president is once against reportedly going back and forth on whether to keep his chief of staff around, and his communications staff's denials of any tension between the two lack credibility.

The leading candidates to replace Kelly are Nick Ayers, current chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, and former congressman Mick Mulvaney, now Director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to sources with knowledge of the search.

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Kelly took over for former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus almost a year ago after Trump struggled to maintain order in the White House six months into his first term.

But numerous reports said Trump was unhappy with Kelly's rigid structure and that his influence had waned.

Figures compiled by Martha Joynt Kumar, a Towson University scholar who researches White House transitions and staffing, said Trump had the highest turnover of top-tier staff of any recent president at the 17-month mark. There is no obvious successor for Kelly, which is why many believe Trump has not replaced him yet.

Kelly traveled with the President to Wisconsin on Thursday.

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