Priebus says Trump sought a different direction

Pauline Gross
July 31, 2017

It is also unclear who will replace Kelly at Homeland Security. "He has been a true star of my Administration", Trump tweeted.

"I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country", Trump said.

Kelly has won Trump's praise for a fall in the numbers of recorded crossing along the southern border, even though there has still been no construction of the president's promised border wall with Mexico.

A target of constant criticism in the administration, Priebus has had an open feud with new White House Communications Director Anthony Scarmucci and strongly opposed his appointment.

Scaramucci, who had tension with Priebus, lashed out at the chief of staff in an interview with The New Yorker this week in which he called Priebus "a f-- paranoid schizophrenic".

Trump tweeted the change while sitting aboard Air Force One on a tarmac outside Washington minutes after returning from Long Island. "I can't think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God's blessings and great success". Pressed on the conversations he had with the president about his decision to leave, Priebus said, "The president is professional".

In his final Pentagon news conference, Kelly spoke about the loss of his son - a topic he didn't often discuss publicly.

"The President wanted to go a different direction", Priebus told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" on Friday evening. "I've been obviously talking to the President for a few days about this. the President was great".

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"I am always going to be a Trump fan. I'm on Team Trump".

"Several conservative supporters of Mr. Bannon told Mr. Trump on Friday that the president would risk losing base supporters if he let the strategist go". She said it had nothing to do with Scaramucci.

The retired general, for his part, said he is "honored to be asked" to take the job. "He has achieved so much, and he has done it all with class".

But the man chosen by Trump to lead his sniping administration holds a more somber distinction. Retired Gen. James Mattis is Trump's defense secretary, and Trump's first choice for national security adviser was retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. He had been leading DHS' recent surge in efforts to crackdown on illegal immigration - a core campaign promise by Trump.

Priebus also added that "bringing in a fresh face" is a good thing.

President Donald Trump, shown with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in May at the Coast Guard Academy commencement in New London, Conn., named K.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a frequent Trump critic, said that, as homeland security chief, Kelly has "been very effective in engaging members of Congress and communicating a coherent message for the president". Gen. Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody.

Trump has yet to say who he plans to nominate to take Kelly's place atop the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate confirmed him as major general in 2007.

Other reports by GizPress

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