Trump Chief Of Staff Priebus Is Out — In Biggest White House Staff Shake-Up Yet
He rose from relative state-party obscurity and reached an unlikely pinnacle as the man responsible for the agenda of the president of the United States. Now, Reince Priebus is out of that job as White House chief of staff in the most significant shake-up of the rocky Trump presidency. President Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has been named as Priebus' replacement.
"I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff", Trump wrote on his personal @realDonaldTrump Twitter account Friday afternoon. "He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration. I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!"
As chairman of the Republican National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign, Priebus' team supplanted a thin Trump campaign with money and staff to help Trump win the presidency. That brought Trump and Priebus close, but it was never a natural fit — the mild-mannered, careful former Wisconsin Republican Party leader with the Midwestern accent, once critically described as the "nebbish's nebbish," and the flashy, cavalier New York billionaire.
Priebus' exit indicates the full decline in the White House of the RNC-led Washington wing. Priebus was the last of the high-profile RNC staffers to exit the West Wing. Months ago, Priebus' deputy, Katie Walsh — a former RNC chief of staff, who was accused of being a leaker by rivals inside the White House — left to work on an outside PAC supporting Trump. Then it was Sean Spicer, the beleaguered press secretary doubling as communications director, who left the day Trump brought on board New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
Priebus' tenure lasted just seven months, an unusually short stint for a president's first chief of staff.