President Donald Trump is reportedly looking for a new White House chief of staff to replace Gen. John Kelly, according to a report in Vanity Fair.
Gabriel Sherman claims that he spoke to two prominent Republicans who confirmed that Trump’s relationship with Kelly has “gone past the point of no return,” and Trump is now actively looking for a successor.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka is allegedly taking a central role in the search, with figures such as political operative David Urban currently being considered.
Kelly, who was appointed as White House chief of staff last July as a replacement for Reince Priebus, apparently infuriated Trump when he falsely claimed that Trump’s views on the construction of a wall on the southern border had “evolved,” a position which Trump quickly denied.
“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” Trump responded.
The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Trump was also angered by Kelly’s explanation to Democratic lawmakers that Trump’s campaign promises for a border wall were “uninformed.”
Since his arrival in the White House, Kelly quickly asserted his authority by removing figures such as the newly appointed director of communications Anthony Scaramucci. Kelly has received praise for his tough style of management.
“I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump reportedly told a friend, according to a Republican source who was briefed on the conversation “This guy thinks he’s running the show.”
However, Kelly does not intend to leave imminently and wishes to have a longer tenure in the White House than Reince Priebus, while officials fear another high-level departure could reflect badly on the administration.
Last week, the White House rebuffed reports of increased tension between Trump and Kelly, stating that the pair maintain a “great relationship.”
“His only frustration is with the media, and that’s what that tweet was about,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters after Trump’s tweet about the border wall. “They have a great relationship and that continues.”