06:39 GMT09 August 2020
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    The announcement follows multiple rumours spread in the media following US midterm elections, predicting the replacement of the top White House official.

    US President Donald Trump has announced that his chief of staff, General John Kelly, would resign at the end of the year.

    Kelly, who was praised as a "great guy" by the US president, has yet to comment on his stepping down.

    The news comes in the wake of US media speculations, saying that Donald Trump was considering potential high-level staffing changes in his administration, including replacing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, as the administration made preparations for the final two years of the president's first term in office.

    On Friday, CNN reported, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the situation in the White House, that tensions between the president and Kelly have escalated to the extent that the two had not spoken to each other in days. According to the media outlet, top contenders for the post include Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, though no final decision about a replacement has been made. The White House has yet to comment on the rumours.

    READ MORE: Trump’s Chief of Staff Could Leave White House Over Clash With Melania – Reports

    The same day, local media reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed Kelly in recent months on the issue of potential obstruction of justice. If confirmed, Kelly, who assumed his post in the summer of 2017, would be the first member of the White House interviewed by Mueller who was not part of Trump's campaign or transition team.

    In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump was discussing potential candidates to replace Kelly, who was likely to quit as a result of the "upcoming dismissal" of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. In addition to this, US media speculated that the White House chief of staff had rocky relations with First Lady Melania Trump, with neither of the abovementioned people commenting on the reports.

    resignation, Melania Trump, John Kelly, Donald Trump, United States
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