John Kelly out as Trump Chief of Staff  12/8/2018 6:50:14 PM   Marcus Gilmer

The post-election bloodbath within the Trump administration continues as embattled chief-of-staff John Kelly is out, and is expected to be replaced by Vice President Mike Pence's chief-of-staff Nick Ayers, who is now Trump's third chief in less than two years, an unprecedented revolving door for a key position.

Trump confirmed the news himself on Saturday while speaking with reporters on the White House lawn, per the New York Times. "John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,'" Trump said. "But he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year."

Trump added that he'll be announcing Kelly's replacement, or at least someone to fill that role on an interim basis, in the next couple days.

In his year-plus time as chief, Kelly has fought with just about everyone except for the president. Reports of a physical altercation in the fall of 2017 between Kelly and Corey Lewandowski surfaced in October, around the same time Kelly got into a heated exchange with National Security adviser John Bolton. 

Before his resignation, Kelly had reportedly raised the ire of First Lady Melania Trump and her staff over a range of issues, from travel arrangements to promotions. 

Though highly praised by Trump upon his appointment in July 2017 and seen as something as a check on Trump's unruly behavior, Kelly has seen his power fade among these ongoing clashes including several with Trump himself

General John Kelly is doing a fantastic job as Chief of Staff. There is tremendous spirit and talent in the W.H. Don't believe the Fake News

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2017

Besides the internal conflicts, Kelly has also done his share of filling headlines for his own actions, from his comments about the Civil War and immigration to poor phone security (a running theme in Trump's White House) to his penchant for being captured in various poses of distress during Trump appearances. 

It's as if he's thinking, 'What have we done?!'

It's as if he's thinking, 'What have we done?!'

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Ayers is now poised to becomes Trump's third chief-of-staff in the 687 days since his inauguration, the quickest turnover to a third chief since the position was created in 1939 (evolving from the presidential secretary position). He's outpacing Barack Obama, who took 723 days to get to his third chief and incurred ridicule from Trump in a tweet has aged horribly.

3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2012

As for the rest of the internet, reactions ranged from unsurprised to openly snarky. No surprise, given that Kelly's exit had long been the subject of rumors.

I feel like it was only yesterday I was writing an oped for the FT saying what an inconsequential chief of staff John Kelly would be. I was wrong of course. He was a terrible chief of staff. But that was of consequence to us all.

— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) December 8, 2018

Possible John Kelly replacements:

- Tomi Lahren
- Jeanine Pirro
- A MAGA hat stuffed with shit
- Scott Free
- A Golden Swastika
- Sean Hannity
- Trumpie Bear
- A burning cross
- Scott Baio
- A jar of Miracle Whip
- Diamond and Silk

— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) December 8, 2018

So as we bid adieu to Kelly, attentions now turn to Ayers — or whoever Kelly's replacement ends up being — and, frankly, how long the next one will last. The clock is ticking. 

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