White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is willing to resign and expressed his willingness to President Donald Trump, according to a report from ABC News.
Breitbart News has confirmed the news from sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
It remains unclear whether Kelly will actually offer his resignation or even whether the president is ready to accept his resignation.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Breitbart News that Kelly has not offered his resignation. Kelly himself also denied that he offered his resignation.
When asked by an NBC news reporter if he offered to resign, Kelly replied, “No.”
The president is unlikely to announce Kelly’s departure unless he has a replacement. In July 2017, rumors circled the departure of former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for days before Trump announced Kelly as his replacement on Twitter. Sources close to the president tell Breitbart News that Trump has been calling allies to discuss possible replacements.
Sources close to the president are currently speculating about who Trump would choose to replace Kelly. Among them is Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
A source told ABC News that the executive chairman of his inaugural committee Tom Barrack was asked about the job, but he said he was not interested.
Kelly has reportedly expressed willingness to resign before, but this is the first time that his leadership has come under sustained criticism.
The White House chief of staff has spent four days in the spotlight after he first defended White House staff secretary Rob Porter after his ex-wives accused him of abuse. Kelly later accepted Porter’s resignation and called domestic abuse “abhorrent” and offered counseling to White House staffers.
Despite early popularity in Washington, DC as the “adult” in the White House, many of Trump’s critics and the mainstream media have turned against Kelly.
Prior to the Porter abuse scandal, Kelly sparked media controversy after he referred to illegal immigrants who failed to sign up for DACA as “too lazy to get off their asses.” He also described Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson as an “empty barrel” after she criticized the president for a call to a Gold Star widow.
Kelly earned criticism from some Trump supporters and even Trump himself for saying that the president was “evolving” his position on his promised border wall since his campaign.
But Trump responded to critics by standing by Kelly.
“I think General Kelly is doing a really great job. He is a very special guy,” he told reporters in January after the chief of staff’s interview.
Kelly has stated that he enjoys his job and serves at the pleasure of the president.
“Not only is this the toughest job I’ve ever had, and I’ve done a lot of things in my life, this is the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Kelly said in a January interview. “I’ve got no reason to be doing this other than my sense of service to the country. That’s my number one motivation, always has been for my whole life.”