We’ve heard this before, but multiple outlets are saying so.
West Wing officials widely believe that chief of staff John Kelly’s departure is imminent and that Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, will replace him. As we reported right after the midterms, Ayers’ backers have been telling the president he has the sharp political instincts to remake the West Wing to better combat the hazards ahead. Jared and Ivanka have boosted him. But he has a number of detractors who have been trying to convince the president he’d be a disaster.
Seventeen months in, Kelly and President Donald Trump have reached a stalemate in their relationship and it is no longer seen as tenable by either party. Though Trump asked Kelly over the summer to stay on as chief of staff for two more years, the two have stopped speaking in recent days.
The expected departure would end a tumultuous tenure for Kelly, who was brought on to bring order to the White House but whose time as chief of staff has often been marked by the same infighting and controversy that has largely defined Trump’s presidency from its beginning. Many of the storms in which Kelly became embroiled were by his own making.