President Trump on Friday tweeted that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is his new White House 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. He is a Great American....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
...and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
Trump then commented upon the changes in his administration later Friday.
Kelly is currently the Secretary of Homeland Security, which means Trump will have to nominate a new DHS secretary whom the Senate will need to confirm.
In a statement, Priebus said "It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this President and our country. I want to thank the President for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the President's agenda and policies."
He added, "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."
Priebus reiterated his praise for Kelly during a Friday evening interview on CNN, adding he gave Trump his resignation notice the day before.
During a speech for law enforcement officials in New York, Trump hinted that he was pleased with Kelly calling him, "one of our great stars."
After former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned last week, many wondered if Priebus would be axed next. Both Spicer and Priebus worked for the Republican National Committee before moving to the White House.
Earlier this week, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House Communications Director, took aim at Priebus in a now-deleted tweet.
Scaramucci said he would be contacting the FBI and The Department of Justice over a Politico story containing information he claimed was leaked. He tagged Priebus in the tweet.
On Thursday, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported that Scaramucci had called him threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff over leaks.
White House reporters on Twitter said Trump's tweet came as a surprise even to White House staff.
White House staff found out the same way we all did: Twitter— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 28, 2017
Others said Priebus had already resigned.
"I resigned privately yesterday," Reince Priebus tells me.— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) July 28, 2017
Lawmakers were also caught off guard.
On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, one of Priebus' allies, said he thought Priebus still had the president's confidence.
In a statement on Friday, Ryan said Priebus "served the president and the American people capably and passionately," and said he was "proud to call Reince a dear friend."
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a veteran, praised Trump's decision to bring Kelly to the White House.
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
While Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California), wished him luck at his new, unpredictable workplace.