Trump asks chief of staff Kelly to stay through 2020

Trump asks chief of staff Kelly to stay through 2020
© Greg Nash
White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has agreed to remain in his post through the 2020 presidential election, according to a White House official, quelling rumors of an imminent departure due to tensions with President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE
 
The official confirmed that Kelly told members of the White House staff on Monday that Trump had asked him to stay in the White House and that Kelly said he would abide by the request.
 
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The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as somewhat of a surprise given Kelly's tumultuous tenure in the West Wing. 
 
But all appeared well on Monday, when Kelly celebrated his first anniversary as chief of staff. Trump marked the occasion on Twitter with a photo of the two men smiling and standing beside one another. 
 
"One year today, right? He became my chief of staff, Gen. Kelly," Trump said minutes earlier during a ceremony in the Oval Office.
  
Reports that Kelly's days were numbered have circulated in the past few weeks as he neared the one-year mark. 
 
The chief of staff position is a notoriously difficult and exhausting post, and it is not unusual for those serving in the position to do so for a relatively short time. But the job has proven to be even more challenging under Trump.
 
 
He has sought to impose more order on a staff riven by internal divisions, to mixed reviews and effect. 
 
Kelly has made it more difficult for people inside and outside the White House to gain access to Trump, but the president has bristled at those constraints and Kelly has angered some influential Trump loyalists. 
 
Kelly also found himself embroiled in his own controversy earlier this year over his handling of spousal abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. 
 
Those dynamics caused friction with the president, who has reportedly been sounding out possible replacements for Kelly in recent weeks. 
 
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Kelly was expected to leave his position by July. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says Democrats shouldn't use debt ceiling as leverage MORE and Vice President Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, have both been mentioned as potential successors to Kelly.
 
The White House denied the report at the time, with White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters saying that she "spoke to the president, who refuted this article."
 
"He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” Walters said. 
 
Kelly has also denied a report from April that he called Trump an “idiot" during a moment of frustration over the immigration debate.