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Capitol Correspondence - 07.31.17

Priebus Ousted as Trump COS, Kelly Steps into Role

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On Friday, President Trump announced that he would replace his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus with General John Kelly, who had been serving the administration as Secretary of Homeland Security. The announcement came after another significant White House top staff shakeup the week before, when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci to the role of communications director. [UPDATE: On Monday, it was reported that Scaramucci has resigned as White House communications director.] The abrupt shakeup of these key roles has left many people questioning whether the administration has the discipline and focus to advance a policy agenda, particularly in light of key members of the White House inner circle at times attacking one another. President Trump made remarks last week questioning his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying that had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the ongoing Russia investigation, that he would not have selected him for the role. On July 31, Trump held a cabinet meeting featuring his new Chief of Staff Kelly, and was the first time Sessions had been in a room with him since those statements were made.