John Kelly Hits 1 Year As Chief Of Staff


When retired Gen. John Kelly joined the White House as President Trump's chief of staff a year ago, he tried to impose some order, restricting access to Trump, pruning disruptive aides, and urging the president to place his calls through the White House operator, for example.

Kelly, who is said to have set a goal of lasting one year in the job, has been rumored to be on the way out of the White House. Trump was reportedly having discussions with staff on who could replace Kelly.

The shortlist also includes Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

"We didn't cover ourselves in glory", Kelly told a gathering of reporters last March.

Mr. Kelly told staff he agreed to the president's request, one of the officials said.

Kelly began as chief of staff in late July previous year, taking over for Reince Priebus.

He writes: "Congratulations to General John Kelly".

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The move comes as Kelly marked one year at the White House - an anniversary that prompted inevitable speculation about whether he will stay or go.

"I'm leaving and I'm not coming back", Kelly has told his aides, only to show up for work the following day, according to Politico, which reported that he has spent early mornings at his gym.

Kelly has told allies that he feels it his duty to serve even if he and the president differ on style and messaging.

Kelly has often joked publicly about how working for Trump is the hardest job he's ever had, including those on the battlefield.

The former Marine Corps general succeeded in imposing some changes, such as limiting who could meet with the president, but eventually saw his stature decline as Trump bucked his efforts to implement greater control.

In the past, Trump has been coy about Kelly's role going forward. "Kelly is essentially calling Trump's bluff", says Sherman.