Trump marks Kelly’s one-year mark as departure rumors swirl
President Trump on Monday marked chief of staff John Kelly’s one-year mark at the White House, which comes amid speculation he could soon leave his post.
Trump acknowledged Kelly’s work anniversary during a swearing-in ceremony for the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie.
“One year today, right? He became my chief of staff, Gen. Kelly,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “John Kelly. In case of anybody’s never heard of him.”
The president later mentioned his top aide’s service on Twitter with a photo of the two men smiling and standing side by side.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2018
Kelly, who was the Homeland Security secretary prior to his appointment to the White House, was brought into the West Wing last summer to replace ousted chief of staff Reince Priebus and impose order on a chaotic staff that was riven by internal divisions.
The former Marine Corps general succeeded in imposing some changes, such as limiting who could meet with the president, but eventually saw his stature decline as Trump bucked his efforts to implement greater control.
The chief of staff also suffered damage for his handling of spousal abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was a key Kelly ally.
Kelly, who is said to have set a goal of lasting one year in the job, has been rumored to be on the way out of the White House. But it is unclear if his departure is imminent and whom Trump might pick to replace him.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, have been under consideration as possible replacements for Kelly.