WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff is taking over at the White House.
Retired Gen. John Kelly was sworn in by the president in an Oval Office ceremony Monday morning. The president said Kelly will do a “spectacular job.”
Trump named Kelly, who previously served as the Department of Homeland Security secretary, to the position on Friday to replace Reince Priebus.
Priebus’ hold on the White House job had long been in question, more so last week after Trump’s new communications director badmouthed him to a reporter for the New Yorker.
Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci over Priebus’s objections and Scaramucci reports directly to the president.
Kelly is a retired four-star general and his task is to bring discipline to the West Wing.
That means controlling access to the president and organizing his decision making.
Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Kelly should understand the president’s instincts are fixed.
“That is what has made him successful over the last 30 years. That is what the American people voted for. And anybody who thinks they’re going to change Donald Trump doesn’t know Donald Trump,” he said.
At a cabinet meeting Monday morning Mr. Trump came face to face with embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions whom he has blasted on Twitter for recusing himself in the Russia investigation.
But Trump has not fired Sessions, and Sessions has not resigned.
At the meeting the president also responded to a question from reporters about the crisis in North Korea, which tested its most advanced missile yet believed to be capable of reaching the U.S.mainland.
The U.S. responded by sending B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula and conducting a success test of a missile defense system over Alaska.
“We’ll handle North Korea. We’ll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything,” Trump said.
The State Department said Russia’s decision to order the U.S. to reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 workers in Russia is “regrettable and uncalled for.” The move by Russia comes in response to new sanctions imposed by the U.S.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)