Obama will announce Rahm Emanuel's departure on Friday

Obama will announce Rahm Emanuel's departure on Friday

President Obama has scheduled a "personnel announcement" for Friday from the White House East Room when he is expected to announce that chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is leaving to run for mayor of Chicago.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs refused to confirm reports that Emanuel is leaving, but Gibbs did take time to praise Emanuel and Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to the president who is likely to take over as acting chief of staff.

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Gibbs said Obama begins and ends his day in meetings with Emanuel, and he credited the former congressman with leading the fight for healthcare reform, Wall Street reform and just about every other initiative that has come out of the White House since Obama took office.

"His leadership, his energy has helped us accomplish" a number of items on Obama's agenda, Gibbs said, calling Emanuel an "energetic, inspirational leader to us."

Gibbs said that the president has a "complete loyalty and trust with somebody like Pete," who is currently a senior adviser.

He added that Rouse has had a tactical hand in "virtually every strategic decision" that has been made in the Obama White House.