After Clashes With First Lady, Others, John Kelly May Soon Exit White House

Kelly's tenure has been clouded in controversy and disagreements with Trump and aides

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File

White House chief of staff John Kelly may soon depart the Trump administration amid an array of conflicts, seven people familiar with the discussions told NBC News.

Among those being considered to replace Kelly is Nick Ayers, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, three of the people said. Kelly is Trump's second chief of staff, joining the White House after serving as secretary of Homeland Security.

Kelly's tenure has been clouded in controversy and disagreements with Trump and aides. He recently clashed with national security adviser John Bolton over how Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is doing on border security. Nielsen, a close confidante of Kelly's, is expected to leave her job as soon as this week, two sources told The Associated Press.

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Kelly has also gotten into disputes with first lady Melania Trump over staffing issues and travel requests. The first lady raised concerns about Kelly denying her staff promotions with her husband during the height of the controversy over his alleged affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels, according to two White House officials.

The White House declined to comment for this story.

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