WASHINGTON (CBSLA.com/AP) — Reince Priebus has been replaced by Gen. John F. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff.
President Trump announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that Priebus had been replaced by Kelly, who has been serving as Secretary of Homeland Security. It was not immediately clear whether Priebus resigned or was fired.
Trump thanked Priebus for “his service and dedication to his country.”
The change follows the arrival of Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci who was hired over Priebus’ objections and reports directly to the president.
Priebus’ already tense relationship with Scaramucci took a darker turn when the communications chief suggested in a late-night tweet that Priebus was one of the “leakers” that President Donald Trump has railed against. The New Yorker published a profanity-laced interview Thursday in which Scaramucci called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic.”
Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Tuesday that no staff shake-up was imminent. But he has privately floated potential replacements for Priebus.
Priebus has grown increasingly isolated in the White House, as past Republican National Committee colleagues and other allies have left or been pushed out of the West Wing. Those who have departed include former deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer and press aide Michael Short.
The chief of staff made an appearance Thursday at an East Room event where Trump honored first responders, acting as if nothing was amiss.
Asked if Trump had confidence in his chief of staff, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not answer directly, saying: “I think I’ve addressed this question when it comes to staffing and personnel many times, that if the president doesn’t, then he’ll make that decision. We all serve at the pleasure of the president and if he gets to a place where that isn’t the case, he’ll let you know.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)