White House Denies Report Kelly Is Leaving

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Posted: Jun 29, 2018 8:45 AM
White House Denies Report Kelly Is Leaving

The White House is denying a report that Chief of Staff John Kelly is planning to step down this summer.

“I spoke to the president who refuted this article. He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the president has been speaking with his advisers about who could possibly replace Kelly.

Two names that have surfaced as frontrunners are Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, and Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

Trump and Kelly have had a tense relationship since the former Homeland Security secretary joined the White House in July 2017.

Multiple reports in recent months have indicated that Kelly has limited influence over the president and that the two don't get along

There have been previous rumors about Kelly leaving the White House.

In April, Kelly denied a report that he called Trump an “idiot" and mocked the president's lack of policy knowledge.

“I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship," Kelly said at the time.

"I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country," he added. "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes." (The Hill)

Kelly’s departure could come this week or after Trump’s trip to Europe next month, where he’ll be in Brussels for a NATO conference July 11-12 and then the United Kingdom on July 13. He will also be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on July 16.