President Trump has made this week a historic one for announcements at 140 characters or less.
The move comes after the resignation of former press secretary Sean Spicer and tumultuous infighting among Trump's closest advisers — Preibus and newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who ripped Priebus in a lengthy, profanity-laced call with a reporter at the New Yorker.
Speaking to reporters as he deplaned following his New York trip, Trump said Friday that "Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star. Done an incredible job thus far. Great, great American respected by everybody. He's done a great, great job. Reince Priebus is a good man," Trump said Friday as he deplaned following his New York visit with law enforcement officers.
According to White House officials, the president had become convinced that Priebus was a “weak” leader and had been lobbied intensely by rival advisers to remove him, The Post reported.
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this President and our country,” Priebus said in a statement. “I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the President’s agenda and policies.”
Kelly is expected to be sworn into the job Monday.
"To the tremendous men and women of DHS, I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Secretary. When I left the Marines, I never thought I would find as committed, as professional, as patriotic a group of individuals. I was wrong," Kelly said in a Friday statement accepting the position and addressing his now-former agency colleagues.
"You accomplish great things everyday defending our nation and I know your exceptional work will continue," he added.
Trump's abrupt West Wing shake-up drew immediate reaction from both sides of the aisle. Some lawmakers pointed to the change as another sign of a chaotic White House.
Another day of chaos at the White House, Meanwhile, the American people wait for action on a jobs plan and rebuilding our infrastructure.— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) July 28, 2017
Dear White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: Good luck.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 28, 2017
GOP lawmakers and influential Republicans, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Newt Gingrich, chimed in to support the selection of Kelly and to bid Priebus farewell, with Ryan calling him a "dear friend."
Congratulations, General Kelly! We all have the highest confidence in you.— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 28, 2017
John Kelly is a great American. Anna and I are proud to call him and his wife, Karen, friends. He's an outstanding choice. (1/2)— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 28, 2017
Thanks to Reince Priebus for his service to our country. (2/2)— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 28, 2017
Reince Priebus did a good job as chief of staff. His expertise & relationships with Congress benefited the White House in many ways.— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) July 28, 2017
Reince Priebus worked nonstop for over 6 years to elect a GOP President,House and Senate.Trump would have lost without the RNC ground game— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) July 28, 2017
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement that Priebus "should be proud of his service" and Kelly "is one of the strongest and most natural leaders I’ve ever known."
Others looked ahead as Kelly's move will mean a new Homeland Security Secretary.
I've had serious concerns about Sec. Kelly and DHS' immigration policies that are detrimental to families, public safety and our economy.— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 28, 2017
Trump admin needs to prioritize nomination of an experienced DHS Sec ready to take a tough, smart, bipartisan approach to homeland security.— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) July 28, 2017
Congress must ensure Kelly's replaced by a secy who focuses on protecting our nation, not advancing an anti-immigrant, fear-mongering agenda— Joe Crowley (@JoeCrowleyNY) July 28, 2017
David Nakamura contributed to this report.