Update, Sunday, 4:35 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers will not replace outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, several news sources reported late Sunday afternoon.
According to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Trump wanted Ayers to sign on for two years, but Ayers declined, citing a desire to return to Georgia with his family.
No replacement has been announced yet.
Ayers later confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @VP, and my great colleagues for the honor to serve our Nation at The White House. I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause.”
Original post continues here:
By the end of the year, John Kelly officially will be out as White House chief of staff, ending his relatively long—for the Trump White House, at any rate—and objectively bad tenure as a laughably complicit aide to whatever garbage President Donald Trump decided to prioritize on any given day.
Trump made the announcement while speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn on Saturday.
“John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,’” Trump told reporters, according to The New York Times. “But he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year.”
Confirmation of Kelly’s long, long, long-rumored departure comes just a day after CNN reported that he and Trump essentially had stopped speaking to each other. That same report claimed that Kelly would be retiring in a matter of days—a forecast that turned out mostly accurate. Kelly initially had claimed that he planned to remain lashed to the mast of Trump’s sinking ship through at least 2020.
Though he was often lauded—without evidence—as a check on Trump by a credulous DC press corps, in reality, Kelly actually helped oversee and implement some of the administration’s most vile policy directives, whether as Trump’s homeland security secretary or as chief of staff. Chief among these was the ongoing family separation policy, which ripped undocumented migrant children from their parents after they crossed into the United States. Kelly had a penchant for making racist and sexist statements, as well—such as calling recipients of the DACA program “lazy,” praising Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and acting shocked, shocked!, that “impolite arrogant woman” Elizabeth Warren might deign to disagree with him.
He also reportedly got into an extremely stupid brawl with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, just steps outside the Oval Office.
According to media reports, Kelly will be replaced by Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, who had been rumored to be a candidate for the job since last June. However, that move isn’t entirely solidified, as according to the Times, 36-year-old Ayers only wants the job temporarily, while Trump wants him on board permanently.
Ayers also reportedly is a divisive figure within the White House. “People are threatened by Nick’s age and his reputation as this young political savant,” a former White House official told Politico. “He has the endorsements of Jared [Kushner], Ivanka [Trump], and Pence, but not a lot of fans beyond that.”
It remains to be seen what Kelly’s absence—and subsequent replacement—will mean for an administration hell-bent on doing the worst possible thing at all times. Hopefully, at least, his departure will at least spare us another round of fawning “adult in the room” profiles. Dare to dream.