Embattled Trump replaces chief of staff

US President Donald Trump ousted his beleaguered chief of staff Reince Priebus on Friday, July 28, replacing him with Homeland Security Secretary and former general John Kelly after vicious White House infighting spilled into the open. Only hours after a humiliating defeat on health care reform had underlined his tenuous control over his party in Congress, Trump announced a second shakeup of his inner circle in barely a week. Since entering the White House 6 months ago, Trump has parted company with his national security advisor, deputy national security advisor, FBI director, press secretary, communications director, acting attorney general, deputy chief of staff and now chief of staff, a turnover of top officials that is unparalleled in US political history.

Priebus has been under fire for months, seeing one White House ally after another resign or leave, culminating in the departure of press secretary Sean Spicer a week ago. His exit appeared inevitable when Trump did not intervene as his new communications director Anthony Scaramucci publicly described Priebus as a "paranoid schizophrenic" in a foul-mouthed tirade that also saw him savage another top Trump aide. Trump announced the switch on Twitter as he landed in Washington after a day trip, on which he was accompanied by both Priebus and Scaramucci. "I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff," Trump tweeted. "He is a Great American... and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration." As the tweet began to reverberate around Washington, Priebus exited Air Force One into the pouring rain and loaded into a black suburban with senior White House aides Steven Miller and Dan Scavino. Moments later, Miller and Scavino got out and entered another van. Priebus's vehicle then left the presidential motorcade. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said discussions about Priebus's departure had been taking place for weeks. Priebus later said he resigned on Thursday, July 27, but referring to his departure admitted that he and Trump "talked all the time about this subject."
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