After 6-month run, Trump ousts chief of staff Reince Priebus

But the swipe at the news media on which the president so often trains his ire showed how much Kelly has become a kindred spirit to his boss, who announced Friday he was tapping the DHS secretary for White House chief of staff.

Reince Priebus had been accused of being ineffective, and orchestrating leaks against the President's new communications chief, Anthony Scaramucci.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after firing Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and naming Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly as his new Chief of Staff, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Scaramucci tagged Priebus in the tweet, but he later denied that he was identifying Priebus as the source.

Trump also thanked Priebus for his service and said he was proud of him.

As the sitting president, Trump largely sets the direction of the Republican Party.

An Obama administration appointee, Yates became a household name in January when she was sacked, ostensibly, for refusing to implement the first iteration of Trump's ban on travelers from a number of Muslim-majority countries.

Shortly before the president deplaned, Priebus' black SUV pulled away, leaving the rest of the motorcade, including the president's vehicle, in the distance. The White House's attacks on gay rights.

Priebus said in a statement that it was one of the greatest honours of his life to serve the United States president and the country. That brought Trump and Priebus close, but it was never a natural fit - the mild-mannered, careful former Wisconsin Republican Party leader with the Midwestern accent, once critically described as the "nebbish's nebbish", and the flashy, cavalier NY billionaire. "I can't think of a better person than Gen John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God's blessings and great success".

Priebus' already tense relationship with Scaramucci took a darker turn over the past two days when the communications chief suggested in a late-night tweet that Priebus was one of the "leakers" that Trump has railed against. The president eventually emerged, umbrella in hand, and delivered a brief statement on the runway as driving rain poured.

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Since Inauguration Day, the Trump White House has lost a chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, national security adviser, Federal Bureau of Investigation director, communications director and press secretary, director office of government ethics, acting attorney general and special assistant to the president in charge of surrogate operations.

In his own statement about the news, Kelly simply said he was honored to serve. When Scaramucci joined the White House staff last week, it became clear that he would have some of the responsibilities and access normally designated only to the chief of staff. Scaramucci, in his first White House press briefing, said he would report to the president directly, rather than to Priebus, and said he had the authority to fire people. He also pledged to continue to support Trump's agenda.

Despite lauding Priebus in his first appearance in the White House briefing room, Scaramucci days later revealed simmering tensions with the then-chief of staff. Reporters had noticed no sign of stress from Priebus during the day.

A staff shakeup would cap a chaotic week for Trump, who passed the six-month point of his presidency without a major legislative win and with his approval rating at historic lows.

Scaramucci then wrote another tweet, which featured a screengrab of a news story with the headline, "Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI".

The president had considered others for the job, including political operatives David Urban and Wayne Berman.

Priebus has suffered from a lack of public defenders, at least at the White House. Those orders have been stripped down by courts pending a Supreme Court review this fall. Yet, just days after taking office, Kelly had to lead the agency as it dealt with the chaos and confusion that ensued at airports in the US and around the world. John McCain who cast the decisive vote early Friday morning, joining Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins in voting against the "skinny repeal" measure which would have kept the GOP's hopes alive.

SEE MORE: What Struggle?

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey, Vivian Salama, Steve Peoples and Laurie Kellman contributed reporting.

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