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Mitch McConnell steps in, privately urges Trump not to fire his chief of staff

Mitch McConnell steps in, privately urges Trump not to fire his chief of staff

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has privately urged President Trump not to fire his chief of staff, whose fate was left hanging in the balance last week after the White House struggled to respond to allegations of spousal abuse against ousted staff secretary Rob Porter.

A source familiar with the discussion told the Washington Examiner late Wednesday that McConnell advised Trump during a recent phone call to avoid making any significant changes to his senior-level staff, including firing John Kelly, who replaced chief of staff Reince Priebus last July.

Instead, he pointed to a New York Times story from last month in which White House counsel Don McGahn was described as having told "McConnell and others that he likes Mr. Kelly and would stay if he remains."

While some White House staffers are encouraging the president to ditch his chief of staff, sources close to Trump have said he remains torn over the situation.

According to one former Trump campaign official, the president has told some people he's thinking of replacing Kelly with his longtime pal Tom Barrack and others he's leaning toward House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

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