John Kelly out as White House Chief of Staff by end of year

White House chief of staff John Kelly will leave his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters Saturday.

Trump did not immediately name Kelly’s replacement.

Rumors of Kelly’s departure had swirled for more than a year amid persistent reports of tensions between Trump and his chief of staff. 

The Wall Street Journal reported in late June that Trump had consulted his advisers on a replacement, sources familiar with the matter said. A flurry of media reports in April claimed that Kelly had grown increasingly frustrated with the president. 

According to Politico, Kelly once told at least one person that he doesn’t care what Trump does that might lead to his impeachment, because then “at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.”

Kelly faced intense scrutiny in February and March over his response to the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who faced allegations of domestic abuse from both his ex-wives. Kelly, who had hired Porter, initially defended him as “a man of true integrity and honor.”

Related: John Kelly in his White House role

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John Kelly in his White House role
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks on his phone in a hallway outside the room where U.S. President Donald Trump was meeting with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly delivers speech at the Secretary of Interior Building in Mexico City, Mexico, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) before a briefing on hurricane relief efforts in a hangar at Muniz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, Puerto Rico, U.S. October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks about immigration reform at a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner look on as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks before meeting with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his delegation at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks about border security during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly delivers a statement accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City, Mexico February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) and First Lady Melania Trump (lower right) listen as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (R) shows the time to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (L) as they attend a session on reforming the United Nations at U.N. Headquarters in New York, U.S., September 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (C) stands in an adjacent cabin as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the press cabin aboard Air Force One on his way to Washington after viewing damage from Hurricane Irma in Florida, U.S. September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks to reporters before meeting with a bipartisan group of members of Congress at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (L) and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway (R) attend Kuwait's Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and U.S. President Donald Trump's news conference after their meetings at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stands before a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (R) arrives with fellow staff to board Air Force One with U.S. President Trump for travel to New Jersey from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks down at his phone as he boards Air Force One in Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S., hours after it was announced that Trump Senior Adviser Steve Bannon left the administration August 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly looks on as he listens to Mexico's Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (not pictured) delivering a joint message at the Secretary of Interior Building in Mexico City, Mexico, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly arrives to Secretary of Interior Building before addressing the media, in Mexico City, Mexico, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly takes questions from the media while addressing the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly leans on the Resolute Desk during a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks during a daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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After photos were made public of one of Porter’s ex-wives with a black eye, Kelly claimed he was “shocked” by the reports but that he would “stand by” his earlier praise.

However, CNN reported that White House officials, including Kelly, knew of Porter’s abuse allegations before the photos of his ex-wife were released. The following week, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate intelligence committee that the FBI had given the White House a preliminary report on Porter nearly a year ago.

Despite the reports that Kelly was aware of allegations against Porter, the staff secretary was up for a promotion in the days before his resignation, CNN reported. The White House struggled to stay on message as reporters pressed spokespeople to explain the inconsistencies.

Vanity Fair reported Kelly shouldered most of the blame for the Porter incident, and The New York Times reported Trump expressed his frustration with Kelly during a call with former chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Kelly replaced former chief of staff Reince Priebus on July 28, 2017, taking the role amid a period of dramatic changes in staffing at the White House. He quickly took on a broader range of responsibility than Priebus had, requiring all White House staffers to answer to him. (Senior aides to Trump did not answer to Priebus during his tenure.)

Kelly has had a tougher relationship with Trump than his predecessor did and instituted more restrictions around who could reach the president. Vanity Fair reported in 2017 Kelly’s discipline put a strain on his relationship with Trump and cited an unnamed source who said Trump and Kelly were “fighting a lot.”

Trouble surrounded Kelly before he began his stint as chief of staff. In 2017, Politico report cited three U.S. government officials who said Kelly’s cellphone was compromised throughout the first half of that year, with the suspected breach potentially happening even before he began serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in January.

Kelly spent more than four decades rising through the Marine Corps ranks before retiring in 2016 as a four-star general. He completed multiple tours in Iraq and developed close ties on Capitol Hill as the Marines’ congressional liaison.

Lydia O’Connor, Nick Visser, Elise Foley and Jessica Schulberg contributed reporting.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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