Trump says chief of staff John Kelly to leave at year’s end

Mark Wilson  Getty Images John Kelly

Mark Wilson Getty Images John Kelly

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a part of the sprawling Russian Federation investigation, despite initial objections, according to a new report from CNN.

The announcement follows reporting yesterday that Kelly's on the way out. Weeks after taking over for Priebus, his predecessor who was unceremoniously fired over Twitter while he sat on a rainy tarmac, Kelly was faced with Trump's controversial response to the racially charged protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. CNN and Axios were first to report on Friday that Trump and Kelly's personal relationship had fizzled out this week, claiming the two hadn't spoken in at least two days. He is supported by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the president's son-in-law and daughter, who both serve as senior West Wing advisers and who, according to several officials, are trying to expand their influence internally and in the re-election campaign.

Trump has made it known that he will not force Kelly out but is prepared to let him leave in his own time, people familiar with the situation said. But each time the two have decided to make amends, even as Kelly's influence has waned.

Trouble surrounded Kelly before he began his stint as chief of staff.

The retired Marine Corps general has spent 16months in the position. And he had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump. And his handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.

This story will be updated.

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