WASHIGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — President Donald Trump announced Friday afternoon that he has named Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as his chief of staff – ousting Reince Priebus.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump also spoke after Air Force One landed in Washington upon returning from Long Island.
“John Kelly will do a fantastic job,” he said. “He’s a great, great American. Reince Priebus is a good man.”
Priebus was also on the plane but departed separately. He said after days of discussions, he resigned on Thursday.
“A president has a right to hit a reset button. I think it is a good time to hit the reset button,” Priebus said. “I think it’s smart for him to pick General Kelly, and I think that things are going to be run very well.”
The announcement came one day after White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci ripped Priebus, as well as Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, in a published interview.
“Reince is an (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac…” Scaramucci is quoted saying.
Reporter Ryan Lizza said Scaramucci called him to complain about leaks, and they had an on-the-record conversation.
“He was very worked up, he was very worked up. He was angry,” Lizza said on CNN.
In the article, Scaramucci accused Priebus of leaking his financial disclosure form – a document that is publicly available.
Both Priebus and Bannon reportedly opposed Scaramucci’s hiring.
John F. Kelly is the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command who was tapped to succeed Jeh Johnson as President Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security.
Kelly, 67, told lawmakers at his DHS confirmation hearing last January that he supports Trump’s idea of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, but also stressed that the use of manpower and technology are needed to improve border security.
He also said that he doesn’t support the idea of registering people based on their religion or ethnicity and also said he doesn’t think religion should be used as the foundation for law enforcement or counterrorism operations.
Kelly previously served as commander of U.S. Southern Command under President Obama from 2012 until this January.
Late Friday night, the White House said Trump will sign a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. It also blocks him from reversing the sanctions and targets Iran and North Korea, as well.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)