Chief of staff John Kelly to leave White House

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The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump seemed to be directing calls away from Kelly and toward Nick Ayers-Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff-who has always been rumored as Kelly's eventual replacement.

Kelly, 68 moved over to the White House in July 2017 to replace former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff.

A source told Reuters last month that Trump was considering a replacement for Kelly.

Trump confirmed his choices of William Barr to lead the Justice Department and Heather Nauert for the United Nations post as he left the White House, speaking to reporters over the din of the whirring blades of Marine One.

"He's been with me nearly two years now, between two positions", Mr Trump told reporters. They also have focused on his potential successor: Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

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Trump then praised Kelly and admitted that clashes with Kelly, most recently after the chief of staff's office had neglected personnel requests from first lady Melania Trump's office, had worn on their relationship.

In January, he claimed to a group of Democratic members of Congress that Trump's views on building the US-Mexico border wall had "evolved" but the president came out the very next day and said this was not true.

Ayers is now poised to becomes Trump's third chief-of-staff in the 687 days since his inauguration, the quickest turnover to a third chief since the position was created in 1939 (evolving from the presidential secretary position).

Kelly's tenure working for Trump was pocked with controversies, and officials were often amazed at how he managed to survive.

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"John Kelly will be leaving". As Trump spoke to the media in a visit to Trump Tower in New York, Kelly sat by the side, grimacing.

This is is far from the first time Kelly has been rumoured to be on the brink.

Kelly weathered criticism for his handling of domestic violence allegations that forced out staff secretary Rob Porter in early 2018. Kelly's shifting accounts caused his credibility inside the West Wing to plummet, and it never truly recovered, according to officials.

This story will be updated.

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