Kelly expected to leave White House this summer: WSJ

White House chief of staff John Kelly is expected to leave his post sometime this summer, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. 

The White House denied the report.

“I spoke to the president who refuted this article. He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

The Journal reported that Kelly could leave his role as early as this week or after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE returns from a scheduled trip to Europe next month. 


Trump will travel to Brussels from July 11 to 12 for a NATO conference, followed by a trip on July 13 to the United Kingdom. He is scheduled to meet with Russian Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Finland.

Trump has also spoken in recent weeks with advisers about potential replacements, the Journal reported. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Congressional leaders, White House officials fail to reach budget deal Congressional leaders, White House officials to meet Wednesday on spending MORE is considered a favorite for the role, as is Nick Ayers, who currently serves as chief of staff to Vice President Pence.

Trump and Kelly have had a tense relationship since the former Homeland Security secretary joined the White House in July 2017.

Multiple reports in recent months have indicated that Kelly has limited influence over the president and that the two don't get along

There have been previous rumors about Kelly leaving the White House.

In April, Kelly denied a report that he called Trump an “idiot" and mocked the president's lack of policy knowledge.

“I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship," Kelly said at the time.

"I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country," he added. "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes."

The White House has previously denied that personnel changes are in the works, only for them to be made soon afterward.

Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster was ousted in March just a week after White House spokespeople dismissed reports he was on the way out.

Jordan Fabian contributed.

Updated at 5:18 p.m.