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"I appreciate his service very much".

Mr Kelly's replacement might be an interim chief of staff until a permanent successor is found, the Republican president said. Nick Ayers, the vice president's chief of staff, is seen as a leading candidate.

Most of the other witnesses interviewed were connected to Trump's campaign, but Kelly didn't join the administration until after the president was sworn in in January 2017.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is soon to resign, according to numerous reports on Friday.

A separate report from ABC says a White House senior staff meeting this morning was cancelled.

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All of the people asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive internal White House matter. The retired Marine Corps general has spent 16months in the position. In 2017, Politico report cited three USA government officials who said Kelly's cellphone was compromised throughout the first half of that year, with the suspected breach potentially happening even before he began serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in January.

News of Kelly's imminent departure was first reported by Axios. "Trump's chief of staff is Trump and always will be".

This story is breaking and being updated.

He announced Friday that he'll nominate William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, to the same role in his administration. Kelly's highly criticized handling of the Porter controversy was an inflection point in his tenure, and some of his internal relationships became strained in the months that followed the former staff secretary's ouster.