Tags: Trump Administration | reince priebus | trump | chief of staff | white house | wolf blitzer

Reince Priebus: Trump 'Wanted to Go in a Different Direction'

Image: Reince Priebus: Trump 'Wanted to Go in a Different Direction'
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By    |   Friday, 28 Jul 2017 08:16 PM

Reince Priebus said Friday that President Donald Trump did not ask him to resign as chief of staff but that "the president wanted to go in a different direction" by naming Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to succeed him.

"The president wanted to go a different direction," Priebus, 45, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN hours after Trump announced the change on Twitter. "I support him in that.

"The president has a right to change directions. A president has a right to hit a reset button.

"I think it is a good time to hit the reset button," Priebus said from the White House. "He was right to hit the reset button — and I think it was something that I think the White House needs.

"It's healthy," he added. "I support him in it."

Trump posted Kelly's appointment in three tweets Friday aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington from giving a speech to law enforcement about efforts to destroy the violent MS-13 street gang.

"I think he made a smart decision with Gen. Kelly," Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, told Blitzer.

"He's going to do a great job — and I'm looking forward to the future.

"One other thing: I'm always going to be a Trump fan," Priebus added. "I'm on 'Team Trump' — and I look forward to helping him achieve his goals and his agenda for the American people."

Not only were Preibus and Kelly aboard Air Force One for the round-trip flight, so were New York Republican Rep. Pete King and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci — whom Trump named to the post last week, causing the resignation of Sean Spicer — slammed Priebus and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on Wednesday in an interview in The New Yorker.

In his CNN interview, Preibus refused to comment on Scaramucci's remarks. He emphasized instead that he offered to resign, that President Trump accepted it and that Kelly, 67, a four-star Marine Corps general, was an excellent choice.

"I'm not going to respond to it," Priebus told Blitzer of the magazine interview. "I'm not going to get into the mud on those sorts of things.

"The president and I had an understanding. We have talked about this many times.

"We ultimately decided that yesterday was a good day and that we would work together.

"Gen. Kelly is a great pick," he continued. "I'm not going to get into the weeds on that.

"I support what the president did. And, obviously, I think it's a good thing for the White House."

When Blitzer asked that Priebus reportedly had opposed Scaramucci for any White House appointment, he responded: "I'm not getting into that, Wolf.

"Look, it's over. I'm moving on.

"I support the president, and I support John Kelly and the president's agenda.

"That's all you're going to get from me on that," Priebus said. "I'm not going to get into the individual personal stuff."

Likewise when Blitzer asked about Scaramucci's remarks about Bannon, with whom Priebus has reportedly clashed as chief of staff.

"Steve is doing a great job," Priebus said. "He is a brilliant guy who only cares about the president's agenda.

"He thinks about it 24 hours a day. Never quits.

"He's a great asset to this president. And, also, a dear friend.

"My hat is off to Steve Bannon."

Priebus also slammed as "ridiculous" Scaramucci's assertion in the interview that he was the source of recent White House leaks — and he said that he hoped Kelly would "get to the bottom" of them.

"Unnamed sources are something that's been problematic," he said. "I wish him well and I'm going to try to help him.

"But, obviously, that's going to be on his plate — and I hope he can get to the bottom of it."

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Reince Priebus said Friday that President Donald Trump did not ask him to resign as chief of staff but that "the president wanted to go in a different direction" by naming Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to succeed him.
reince priebus, trump, chief of staff, white house, wolf blitzer
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2017-16-28
Friday, 28 Jul 2017 08:16 PM
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