John Kelly, a retired marine general, has taken over as the new White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus who was fired after a continued feud among the senior White House staffers came out in the open.
Kelly, 67, who was previously the Homeland Security Secretary, was picked for the new job by Trump on July 29, with the latter hoping the new chief of staff to bring some military order to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, a cabal of infighting West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.
Hours after taking over, Kelly yesterday witnessed the ouster of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci from the White House.
Scaramucci, 53, who was appointed as the White House Director of Communications only 10 days ago and was reporting directly to the president, was in the news for the past few days, especially for the “unparliamentary” language used by him against his White House colleagues.
In an interview last week, he used unparliamentary language against his White House colleagues and threatened to fire everyone from the White House who leaked information.
“The President certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position. He didn’t want to burden General Kelly also with that line of succession,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.
Kelly replaces Priebus, who as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee last year, had played a key role in Trump’s electoral victory. Priebus was on the receiving end of Scaramucci’s abuse before being fired by Trump.
Now everyone in the White House reports to Kelly, Sanders said.
“We’ve made clear a few times over the course of the last couple of days to several of you individually, but General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House, and all staff will report to him,” she told reporters.
In the last 10 days, Trump has fired three of his top officials. It first began with his Press Secretary Sean Spicer, followed by Priebus and now Scaramucci, who probably has the shortest stint as the White House Director of Communications.
Sanders said Trump has given full authority to Kelly, and he’ll make determinations inside the White House. “General Kelly I think will bring new structure to the White House and discipline and strength. We are all really excited to work with him,” she said.
Responding to questions, Sanders said Scaramucci was no longer working at the White House.