Trump Fires Priebus, Names Gen. Kelly New Chief Of Staff

Update:  As speculation abounds over social media over precisely when Reince was fired or quit, he has just released the following statement:

"It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve the President and our country.  I want to thank the President for giving me this very special opportunity.  I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the President's agenda and policies.  I can't think of a better person that General John Kelly to succeed me and I him God's blessings and great success."

* * *

After Thursday's bizarre, widely publicized breakdown by Anthony Scaramucci, Trump had no choice: he had to pick either the former SkyBridge founder or his Chief of Staff, Reince "paranoid schizophrenic" Priebus.

Moments ago Trump made his decision - Priebus has been fired, replaced by retired four-star Marine general John Kelly, and current Homeland Security head, John Kelly who Trump frequently credits for dramatically reducing the number of undocumented immigrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico. He called Kelly "a true star" in a tweet announcing the appointment.

Trump tweeted: "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 announced the decision on Twitter as his plane landed at Andrews. Trump also tweeted his token thanks to Priebus "for his service and dedication to his country" saying "we accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!."

The circumstances of Priebus' exit were curious. The now former Chief of Staff parted ways with Trump on the tarmac outside of Air Force One Friday following the announcement he would no longer serve as President Trump's chief of staff. Priebus was returning with Trump and other White House staff from an event in Long Island, New York, the Hill reported. Upon their return to Andrews Air Force Base, Trump made the announcement Priebus was out of the top White House position.

In a rain-soaked Washington, D.C., Priebus had initially gotten into a van with White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller and White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino on the tarmac, but shortly after, the two men left the van and left Priebus alone, according to a White House press pool report.

The former chief of staff's car then peeled away from the president's motorcade and left while Trump remained on Air Force One.

* * *

Also according to press reports the final straw for Reince Priebus was the overnight failure by Senate republicans to pass Obamacare repeal as a result of John McCain's stunning decision to vote against the GOP.

Then again, NBC reports that it wasn't Trump who fired Priebus, but Priebus who resigned on Thursday. And just to make things even more convoluted, Reuters also reports that Trump originally informed Priebus two weeks ago that he would be replacing him as White House chief of staff.

Assuming Priebus was indeed fired first, that would mark the11th time Trump has told someone "you're fired" since the election. The list, in chronological order, includes:

  • Yates
  • Flynn
  • Walsh
  • Bharara
  • Comey
  • Dubke
  • Shaub
  • Corralo
  • Spicer
  • Short
  • Priebus

In any case, speaking to reporters, Trump called Priebus a "good man" but called Kelly a "star." 

"Reince is a good man," he said at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C., after a trip to New York to talk about his push to end gang violence. "John Kelly will do a fantastic job. Gen. Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He's a great American," he said.

WaPo's Robert Kosta tweets that "Kushner's allies soured on Priebus b/c they saw the msg/strategy on Russia as off/weak..."

How Trump's decision will be greeted by the more moderate part of his base remains to be seen, although with Trump siding against Priebus, it may mean that Bannon could be next on the chopping block, a move which would infuriate a core part of Trump's electorate, a material gamble for a president with a precarious approval rating.

As for ret. Gen. John Kelly, the current low profile Homeland Security Secretary, a quick reminder who he is: he he was in the military for 45 years - a very long time, even for a general. He was once the head of US Southern Command, putting much of the US' immediate vicinity under his purview - including the control of Guantanamo Bay.

Here Kosta adds that "Kushner and Bannon both really like Kelly, which made the decision easier. Someone who has appeal to the two main blocs in WH..."

His full bio is below.

General Kelly was born and raised in Boston, MA. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970, and was discharged as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC. Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts in 1976, he was commissioned and returned to the 2nd Marine Division where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander, company executive officer, assistant operations officer, and infantry company commander. Sea duty in Mayport, FL, followed, at which time he served aboard aircraft carriers USS Forrestal and USS Independence. In 1980, then Captain Kelly transferred to the U.S. Army's Infantry Officer Advanced Course in Fort Benning, GA. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC, serving there from 1981 through 1984, as an assignment monitor. Captain Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to the rank of Major in 1987, he served as the battalion's operations officer.

 

In 1987, Major Kelly transferred to the Basic School, Quantico, VA, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course. After three years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico. Completing duty under instruction and selected for Lieutenant Colonel, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. Holding this command position for two years, Lieutenant Colonel Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College inWashington, DC. He graduated in 1995, and was selected to serve as the Commandant's Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

 

In 1999, Colonel Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium. He returned to the United States in 2001, and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-3 with the 2nd Marine Division. In 2002, selected to the rank of Brigadier General, Colonel Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the Assistant Division Commander. Much of Brigadier General Kelly's two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq. He then returned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant from 2004 to 2007. Promoted to major general, he returned to Camp Pendleton as the Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). The command deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a year-long mission, replacing II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) as Multinational Force-West in Al Anbar and western Ninewa provinces. LtGen Kelly commanded Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North from October 2009 to March 2011. General Kelly comes to United States Southern Command from his previous position as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from March 2011 to October 2012.

What happens next is a great unknown for this rollercoaster administration, but with a military veteran now whispering in Trump's ear every day, Kim Jong-Un's days are now numbered.

Meanwhile, the message from today's events seems to be that Trump has largely cut most - if not all - ties with the Republican party.

Comments

Embrey Blankone Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:37 Permalink

Stupid.
Priebus was always the hostage given to live in the Trump palace by Ryan et al.
It appears Trump knew the result of the 'skinny repeal' as far back as a week ago, one whenever Trump acted counter to Priebus' wishes and appointed Scaramucci. He gave the establishment one last opportunity to get in line and they refused. Hence, Priebus is gone and Ryan et al have lost a source of information inside the Trump White House.
Lindsay Graham tells Trump he cannot fir Mueller?
Grass leg tells Trump they will not allow him an alternative appointment if he fires Sessions.
Are they insane?
Next stop, Pence.

In reply to by Blankone

Slack Jack Déjà view Fri, 07/28/2017 - 23:08 Permalink

I wrote this yesterday:

The Orange Jew actually wants to enact sanctions against Russia.

However, he wants to do this while still pretending to represent those that voted for him.

That is why the House voted 418 to 3 for sanctions.

That is why the press screams that the sanctions deal is veto-proof.

All to give him a plausible excuse to sign the bill, to do what he wants, but not what his support base wants.

As many Trump supporters now suspect, Trump has actually been their enemy from the beginning.

If the Orange Jew is the real deal then he will veto this sanctions legislation.

But, Trump is not the real deal. So, he will sign it into law.

Trump is no different from Obama, Bush and Clinton.

In reply to by Déjà view

PrayingMantis armada (not verified) Fri, 07/28/2017 - 21:24 Permalink

... " ... real enemies are much closer ..." ...
... something like keep your friends close, but your enemies closer? ...

... meanwhile, why did the US Air Force place an ad for bio samples from Russians? >>> https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=5891545db8f955e347…; ...

... here's what others think ... "Weaponizing viruses?" >>> https://www.rt.com/usa/397883-us-airforce-russian-rna-sample-tender/ ...

>>> ... " ... Igor Nikulin, a former member of the UN commission on biological weapons, noted that the RNA samples can be used to develop viruses. ...'New types of biological weapons are being developed. There’s nothing else that could possibly interest the military department. Most likely, they are weaponized viruses,” Nikulin told RT. “ ...

...

In reply to by armada (not verified)

carlnpa johngaltfla Fri, 07/28/2017 - 20:54 Permalink

I think Bannon is Trumps best connection to the people.Notice how the tax cut changed from cuts for the rich to tax increases on the rich with cuts on the middle class.  This is not republican doctrine, I see Bannons fingerprints all over this.  I approve.Trump IS jettisoning his personnel ties to the Republican party, and good riddence to them.Both parties dirty deeds are going to be fair game in Trumps flailing at them.  I really don't believe he cares if he destroys both parties.  It may be best for the country in the long run. 

In reply to by johngaltfla

micksavage2010 johngaltfla Sat, 07/29/2017 - 16:38 Permalink

kelly is a no bullshitter? bwahahahahahhas ur head been up ur butt for so long u missed the last year with his douche in dhs? uh, let's see, we need more money for dhs of which cbp and tsa take billions for security theatre? and our overlords tell me that after telling me for long long time in long long lines at airports to leave shit in bags, and now i need to take them out again? can they make their pinheads adhere to one counter turruisam strategy?

In reply to by johngaltfla

Giant Meteor Mr Hankey Fri, 07/28/2017 - 20:12 Permalink

My understanding is , it's a robot, I cannot confirm or deny this intel as I do not have the proper clearances to access this information, soooooo ...I'm just going to come right out and ask.Frozen Z Goods, are you a robot?edit; Oh, and while you're at it, could you give a bit of explanation on this ?"Confirmed: Mooch has him by the balls"Many thanks in advance ..

In reply to by Mr Hankey

Blankone Embrey Fri, 07/28/2017 - 18:07 Permalink

No one inserted Priebus or imposed him onto Trump. Trump picked him, chose him, selected him, installed him, hired him.

Even during Trump's campaign Priebus was a key advisor to Trump. As Trump chose him to be. And obviously it is not like Trump did not know who Priebus was.

Trump has been extremely poor at running his administration, chaos, hire/fire, rinse repeat - but plenty of reality show antics and tweets. If Trump has created such a mess within the admin. how can he be focused on outside issues. Or better, how can we expect him to be any better at outside issue not completely under his control.

In reply to by Embrey