West Wing Chaos: Priebus Quits, General Kelly Takes Over as Chief of Staff
The White House announced Friday afternoon that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had resigned amid mounting tensions. Some reports indicate that Priebus “privately resigned yesterday,” and Reuters was told by an anonymous official that “Trump informed Priebus two weeks ago that he would be replacing him as White House chief of staff.”
By putting Gen John Kelly in charge, Pres Trump is militarizing the White House & putting our executive branch in the hands of an extremist.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) July 28, 2017
The resignation came just a day after a profanity-laced interview with new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was published in The New Yorker. Scaramucci launched insults at senior Trump advisors as well as Priebus, calling the then-chief of staff a “paranoid schizophrenic” and accusing him of leaking information to the press.
The New York Times summarized the events preceding Priebus’s resignation:
In barely half a year on the job, Mr. Priebus never won the full confidence of the president nor was granted the authority to impose a working organizational structure on the West Wing. Always seeming to be on the edge of ouster, Mr. Priebus saw his fate finally sealed a week ago when Mr. Trump hired Mr. Scaramucci, an edgy Wall Street financier, over the chief of staff’s objections. Mr. Priebus’s ally, Sean Spicer, the press secretary, resigned in protest.
Reporters and commentators reacted to the news of Priebus’s resignation Friday afternoon:
Reince Priebus was the shortest-serving White House chief of staff in American history, edging out Ken Duberstein.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 28, 2017
Reince Priebus' exit indicates the full decline in the White House of the RNC-led Washington wing. https://t.co/I4bB7JPxzz
— NPR (@NPR) July 28, 2017
Firings/Resignations under Trump
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 28, 2017