Reince Priebus, the recently ousted White House chief of staff, told Fox News Sean Hannity in an interview on Friday that his resignation is a chance for President Donald Trump to reset his administration, which he said is actually a good thing.
I think actually going a different direction, hitting a reset button, is actually a good thing, and the president did that, Priebus said,according to partial transcripts of the interview shared by a Fox News producer.
Afterprivately resigning from his postin the Trump administration on Thursday, Priebus continued to work with Trump on filling his post, he said. Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly,a retired four-star Marine general, would replace Priebus as chief of staff.
Priebus wouldnt comment to Hannity on his rivalry with the new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and instead praised the president as decent and incredibly hard-working.
Im not going to get into that subject, Priebus said of Scaramuccis disparaging comments about him published Thursday in The New Yorker. Its just getting in the mud, and I think its a distraction from the presidents agenda.
Priebus also assured Hannity, Im going to be on Team Trump all the time.
During the interview, Priebus described the news media as dishonest and blamed headlines about the federal investigations into Russias ties to the Trump presidential campaign for distracting the country from what the Trump administration is accomplishing.He called the allegations of collusiona joke.
I honestly dont believe that theres a lot of people out there that actually believe that campaign people were sitting on telephones and having meetings and passing secret messages, trying to figure out how to mess around with the election, Priebus told Hannity. Its ridiculous.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that Trump and Priebus had been discussing his role for weeks, while Trump had also been in talks with Kelly about the job.
Priebus resignation comes in the wake of some high-profile drama with the newly appointed Scaramucci.
Earlier this week ScaramucciaccusedPriebus, who was reportedly blindsided by Scaramuccis new role, of leaking his personal financial disclosure to Politico.However, the reporter who published the information in an article later clarified that Scaramuccis information waspublicly availablefrom the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.
Although Scaramucci tweeted on Wednesday that he did not mean to single out Priebus when callingfor an FBI investigation of leakers in the White House,ascathing and profanity-laced interview he gave The New Yorkersuggested otherwise.
In the interview, conducted Wednesday but published Thursday, Scaramucci suggested Priebus had cock-blocked him from getting a spot in the Trump administration. He also specifically accused Priebus of being a leaker, adding that he would be asked to resign very shortly. Scaramucci also called Priebus aparanoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.
Rumors of Priebus potential departure have swirled around D.C. for months. After the first version of the Obamacare repeal bill failed in the House of Representatives in March, the White House fired Priebus deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh. Axios and The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Trump was thinking of dismissing or demoting both Preibus and key adviser Steve Bannon.
Priebus conversation with Hannity echoed an earlier interview he had with CNNs Wolf Blitzer on Friday, in which he said his resignation was amutual decision between him and Trump.
Look, the president wanted to go in a different direction,he told CNNs Wolf Blitzer. I support him in that.
Priebus is the third person in Trumps administration to leave after Scaramucci took his post in the White House press office last week.
White House press aide Michael Short, who many saw as a Preibus ally, resigned on Tuesday after Scaramucci promised to fire everybody for leaking. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who also served as the Republican National Committees communications director when Priebus was chairman, left shortly after Scaramuccis job announcement was made.
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