Trump ghostwriter ridicules belief John Kelly’s replacement will reel president in

Staff John Kelly stands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Nov. 16 2018

John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, is likely to leave his post in the next few days, ending a tumultuous 16-month tenure still among the longest for a senior aide to President Donald Trump, two people with direct knowledge of the developments said Friday.

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

Multiple reports have suggested Kelly will depart in the coming days.

Trump and Kelly's relationship has been strained for months - with Kelly on the verge of resignation and Trump almost firing him several times.

Like all of those interviewed, the person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters. "It's not his strength", Trump said.

According to Axios, Kelly will be replaced by Nick Ayers, who now works as chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence.

Reports of Kelly's impending departure have been circulating for months.

"I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!" he said.

Jim Watson  AFP  Getty Images FILE
Jim Watson AFP Getty Images FILE

But President Donald Trump is apparently treating the retired Marine general like he's already gone. And he had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump.

Trump has long admired Kelly for his military valor, but his lack of political experience and interest in campaign strategy has made him an imperfect fit leading the staff of a president who lives and breathes politics.

"He's been with me nearly two years now as you know between the two positions", he continued.

Trump and Kelly have privately argued at times and complained about each other to confidants, sometimes in colorful language.

He assumed his current position in July 2017 after being promoted from US Secretary of Homeland Security - a job he was appointed to after President Trump was inaugurated.

Trump, meanwwhile, announced Saturday that he's picked a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation's next top military adviser.

News of the latest staffing changes come as the president named William Barr as his new Attorney General.

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