White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to step down soon

White House chief of staff Kelly to resign soon reports say

"He's a great guy", Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Philadelphia where he will attend the annual football game between the Army and Navy military academies.

Axios and CNN reported earlier that White House officials expect Kelly to resign soon.

He said that Kelly "controlled access" to Trump, which sometimes angered the president and led to reported "dust-ups" between the two in recent months.

We've heard it before, but this time John Kelly's really leaving-at least according to unidentified White House sources. Trump on Friday said that he would nominate William Barr to succeed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and Heather Nauert to replace Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations. Potential replacements include Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, who is still seen as a leading contender.

"I appreciate his service very much", he added. The lights were off in his West Wing office.

Besides the internal conflicts, Kelly has also done his share of filling headlines for his own actions, from his comments about the Civil War and immigration to poor phone security (a running theme in Trump's White House) to his penchant for being captured in various poses of distress during Trump appearances. Trump, however, wants a two-year commitment.

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Kelly spent more than four decades rising through the Marine Corps ranks before retiring in 2016 as a four-star general. He fired Omarosa Manigault, the former reality star who served in a senior communications post, but she ended up recording the conversation, which took place in the secure Situation Room.

A senior White House official told CBS News that the president didn't bring up Kelly's impending departure at a dinner with White House senior staff Saturday night, as some had expected him to do.

All of the people asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive internal White House matter.

When Kelly first replaced Reince Priebus as chief of staff last summer, he ruled with an iron fist.

Kelly's tenure working for Trump was pocked with controversies, and officials were often amazed at how he managed to survive. He said some of those eligible for protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were "lazy".

Kelly's exit compounds the sense of flux in an administration in which three communications directors, a national security adviser and a press secretary exited the White House in just over a year, along with many lower-level aides.

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