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

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign 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 PriebusPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Sunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Priebus: Left's 'wacko ideas' are opportunity for Republicans in 2020 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 John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' 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.