Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday that as far as she knows, White House chief of staff John Kelly wants to stay in his post and as far as she knows, “he is staying,” despite reports stating that the retired U.S. Marine Corps general plans to leave the White House soon.
“As far as I know, Gen. Kelly wants to stay and he is staying,” Conway told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“He hasn’t said anything differently to me. I come here to work every day with the team that the president has asked us all to work with.”
Conway added that she finds the White House “to be much more streamlined and sophisticated and running in a very good way a year-and-a-half into the presidency, and we don’t run around wondering who is leaving next or forced out.”
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump is speaking with advisers about a possible replacement for Kelly, and that the chief of staff could either resign as soon as this week or after the president’s trip to Europe in mid-July.
According to the newspaper’s sources, the two front-runners for the spot are Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers and Mick Mulvaney, who serves both as the head of the Office of Management and Budget and as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Kelly replaced former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on July 31, 2017, and reportedly has butted head with Trump several times during his tenure.
Conway, however, said Friday that she doesn’t “understand these stories.”
“The media is ants in a sugar cube, focused on one thing,” she said. “It seems to come up every month or two or three. I went back and looked at a bunch of inquiries from February, from December, now from June. They all say the same thing.
Further, she said, both Trump and Kelly have responded directly, saying that Kelly’s departure is “all news to them.”
“I know it’s easier and maybe more fun for folks to play the parlor game and learning the intricacy of policy here,” she said, “but I guess eventually everybody is going to leave and eventually everybody who said people will be leave will be right. It’s odd for that to dominate the coverage.”
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