Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was officially sworn in as the new White House Chief of Staff on Monday, replacing Reince Priebus.
President Donald Trump predicted in remarks from the oval office that Kelly would do a “spectacular job” as his chief of staff.
Trump pointed to Kelly’s brief tenure as head of the Department of Homeland Security, which he described as “record shattering.”
“You look at the border, you look at the tremendous results we’ve had, and you look at the spirit,” Trump said. “And with a very controversial situation, there’s been very little controversy, which is pretty amazing by itself.”
Trump suggested that Kelly would help build on the early accomplishments of his administration, pointing to the record highs in the stock market and strong business confidence.
“We have a tremendous base, we have a tremendous group of support, the country is optimistic and I think the general will just add to it,” Trump said. “The country is doing very well.”
He added, “We will proceed and we will keep going but we have a fantastic leader, chief of staff, he is going to do a really great job.”
Trump cited a recent Commerce Department report showing 2.6 percent GDP growth in the second quarter despite questioning similar numbers under former President Barack Obama.
Amid reports of turmoil in the White House, Trump announced Friday evening that he had appointed Kelly to replace Priebus as chief of staff.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” Trump announced in a post on Twitter.
Trump called Kelly a great American and a great leader and described him as a true star of the administration.
The president added, “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!”
In a statement, Priebus thanked Trump for giving him the opportunity to serve as White House Chief of Staff, calling it one of the greatest honors of his life.
The decision by Trump came amid clashes between Priebus and newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who suggested in an interview with CNN that the former chief of staff was responsible for leaks coming out of the White House.
Trump struck back at the reports of turmoil in the White House in a post on Twitter on Monday, tweeting, “Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.:…