Reince Priebus Says Trump 'Wanted to Go a Different Direction' in First Interview After Exit
"I've been obviously talking to the President for a few days about this," Priebus also said
Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus remains on “team Trump” despite resigning his position on Friday.
The former Republican National Committee chairman gave his first interview since his exit to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly was appointed to his former position by Donald Trump.
“Look, the president wanted to go a different direction. I support him in that,” Priebus told Blitzer.
“I’m doing great,” he continued, adding that his decision to resign was a mutual one between himself and Trump. “I’ve been obviously talking to the president for a few days about this. … the president was great.”
“Anytime either one of us think that we need to make a change or move in a different direction, let’s just talk about it and get it done,” Priebus said of his working relationship with the president.
Trump announced the surprise appointment Friday afternoon on Twitter. The switch comes after the failure of the Republican health care repeal bill, and as White House personnel fights exploded in dramatic fashion.
Priebus has repeatedly clashed with new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who had threatened to push Priebus out of the White House. Priebus’ allies, such as former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short, have also resigned.
In his latest interview, Priebus also shared that he is still a fan of Trump.
“He has the best political instincts,” he told Blitzer, even adding that he will “honor the President every day.”
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As for his successor, Priebus had only positive remarks to say about Kelly.
“General Kelly is a brilliant pick. … We’ll be working on a transition,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a situation where there’s a lot of ill feelings. I think this is good for the president.”
Concluding, “I think bringing in a fresh face, I think bringing in fresh people, is a good thing. As for John Kelly, I know he’s going to be great.”