WH Chief of Staff John Kelly: 'expected' to resign

  • Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly is 'expected' to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday
  • His presumed replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence
  • Ayers is a 36-year-old political wunderkind; Kelly is a 68-year-old decorated vet
  • Trump and Kelly are no longer on speaking terms
  • President has been telling aides to reach out to Ayers if they need things  
  • Friday White House senior staff dinner was to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials, but news leaked first to CNN

White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days.

Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps general brought in last year, is 'expected' to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday.

His expected replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

A source familiar with the situation told DailyMail.com on Friday morning that a dinner at the White House in the evening for senior staff was supposed to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials.

'They were trying to give John the out he deserved for his service to the country. That was the plan,' the person said. 

White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days

The president is no longer on speaking terms with Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general

Now, that timeline has likely been expedited —Trump could make the announcement as soon as Friday.

The news comes as CNN reported that Kelly is no longer on speaking terms with President Donald Trump.

The decorated veteran participated in a handful of Oval Office meetings on Thursday, a source told DailyMail.com on Friday, adding that he and Trump didn't interact before or afterward. 

Trump and Kelly 'know that they are 17 months into what has been a very tumultuous relationship. It is no longer seen as sustainable by either party,' CNN reported Friday morning.

'Their relationship has deteriorated so much in the last couple weeks, where John Kelly's job security has essentially been seen as permanently in danger.'

The Daily Caller, a favored Trump news outlet, reported Friday that an unnamed source had said the idea of an impending Kelly resignation was 'absolutely untrue,' and that the chief of staff had merely taken a day off.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president's choice to succeed him

The website's editorial director, Vince Coglianese, is the son of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Vincent A. Coglianese, who is in charge of Marine Corps Installations Command.

Another source told DailyMail.com that the dinner on Friday night would be hosted in the White House residence by the president and first lady. The person said that it is a holiday party for staff, just like the one the first couple hosted last Christmas.

It was not described on the president's daily guidance as a holiday party. The closed-press event was listed as a 'dinner' with senior White House staff.

Axios also reported Friday what administration insiders have said for weeks: Ayers will likely take over for Kelly whenever he leaves.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president's choice to succeed him.

The president has been telling people for the past several days to call Ayers if they have a request. The directive has spread so far that senior aides are no longer regarding Ayers' ascension as a secret, an insider said on Friday morning.

'John wanted to stay, but he has a broken relationship with the president, so bad you just can't keep him,' the person told DailyMail.com of the president's claims this fall that Kelly was staying.

President Trump is reportedly no longer on speaking terms with the retired Marine Corps general who he asked this year to stay on through the 2020 elections

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed.

The two men discussed a commitment at the time for Kelly to agree to run the West Wing until 2024 if Trump were to win a second term. 

Since then Trump has backtracked, arguing at a post-election news conference that people leave and it can't be helped.  

'As we make changes, we’ll sit down and talk to you about it. I mean, there’s no great secret. A lot of administrations make changes after midterms. I will say that, for the most part, I’m very, very happy with this Cabinet. We’re doing a great job,' the president said.

Pressed to confirm that Kelly is staying, Trump said, 'People leave. I haven’t heard about John Kelly. But, no, people — people leave. They come in, they’re here. It’s a very exhausting job.'

He went further in a 'Fox News Sunday' interview later in the month, in which he admitted: 'There are certain things that I don’t like that he does.'

'There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault. It’s not his strength,' he asserted.  

Trump said at 'some point' the retired marine general 'is going to want to move on.' He maintained that it is possible that Kelly would stay through 2020 but backed off the initial pledge that

Kelly jokes about White House move: 'God is punishing me'

He had insisted in October, as the White House attempted to project confidence in advance of the mid-terms, that he was not going to ditch Kelly for Ayers or other rumored candidates for the job.

Trump brought a New York Magazine reporter into the Oval Office for a parade of denials that ended with Kelly and Ayers giving each other a bear hug.

Since the election, the relationship between Trump and Kelly has apparently soured.

In a hint that Kelly was on his way out, deputy chief of staff Zachary Fuentes, started putting out feelers for a new job, Politico reported this week, circulating his resume to the Department of Defense and other Cabinet agencies.

Kelly has clashed with top Trump advisers inside and outside the White House, getting into West Wing screaming matches with the national security adviser and others.  

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