Trump Told Associate to Stop Calling John Kelly

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens to a question while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Army's fiscal 2018 budget

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens to a question while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Army's fiscal 2018 budget

President Donald Trump on Friday accelerated a long-anticipated shake-up of his Cabinet in the wake of the midterm elections, naming new picks for attorney general and United Nations ambassador amid widespread speculation that embattled White House Chief of Staff John Kelly could soon depart.

The moves had always been planned, and will give Kelly's eventual successor room to build a new White House political team.

Kelly wasn't seen at the White House during the day on Friday, but did attend a senior staff dinner in the evening, one of the people said. Former White House Counsel Don McGahn was likewise forced out of his job after it was reported that he had cooperated extensively in Mueller's probe.

Mueller's team asked Kelly - who the network earlier reported was no longer on speaking terms with Trump - about what he remembered about Trump's attempt to fire Mueller and whether the president had tried to obstruct justice. Kelly's shifting accounts caused his credibility inside the West Wing to plummet, and it never truly recovered, according to officials. 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.

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Like all of those interviewed, the person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, has been the president's top aide since late July 2017. In recent months, the chief of staff's power has ebbed, with administration policies and decisions being guided more by the president's gut instincts than by Kelly's processes.

Trump often vacillated between criticizing and praising Kelly, sometimes within minutes of each other. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.

"I have another one for tomorrow that I'm going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game", Trump said.

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