Rubio says he's a 'huge' fan of John Kelly: 'It's a loss to see him go'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (R-Fla.) said Sunday that he's a "huge John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE fan," adding that it will be difficult for the White House to replace him when Kelly leaves his post as chief of staff at the end of the year.

He also said any concern over Kelly's departure "depends who they put in as a replacement."

“I’m a huge John Kelly fan. I’ve known him since his time he served in Florida. … We had a great working relationship with him as the chief of staff," Rubio said on CNN's "State of the Union."

He added that "there’s always turnover in that position."


"Every president has at least a couple," chiefs of staff, Rubio said. Trump has had two already in his presidency. Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Democrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet MORE left in July 2017.

"It’s a loss to see him go and now we’ll see who they put there as a replacement and we’ll go from there," he added. "He’s hard to replace, there’s no doubt about it. But hopefully it’ll be someone just as qualified, just as strong.”

President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE announced Saturday that Kelly, the White House chief of staff, will leave his position by the end of the year.

“John Kelly will be leaving, retiring. I don't know if I can say ‘retiring,’ ” Trump said Saturday. “But he's a great guy."

Nick Ayers, the current chief of staff to Vice President Pence, is rumored as the most likely candidate to replace Kelly.