Despite a rocky tenure and his abrupt departure, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus took a stand that the media doesn’t know what to do with.
“I’m always going to be a Trump fan,” Priebus told CNN reporter Wolf Blizer on Friday. “I’m on team Trump.”
Priebus, who was just replaced as President Trump’s chief of staff, told reporters that Trump was going in a different direction and that it was a mutual decision. He said that Trump “wanted to do something differently” and that there is no ill will between the two.
Priebus said, “It was something that I have always talked to the president about, which is — and I have always said this to him and he always agreed with me — anytime any one of us think that we need to make a change or move into a different direction, let’s just talk about it and get it done.”
“The president has the best instincts,” Priebus said.
The CNN interview came after Trump announced on Twitter that Homeland Security Secretary and former General, John F. Kelly, would be the new White House chief of staff.
Priebus seemed pleased with Trump’s choice for his replacement, calling Kelly a “brilliant pick” and said he knows he’ll be great. The two will be working together in the coming weeks to ensure a seamless transition.
Despite media speculation and rumors that Priebus was ousted suddenly by the current president, he insisted that he in fact resigned.
“I resigned, and he accepted it,” Priebus told CNN. “We ultimately decided that yesterday was a good day.”
He refuted any speculation that Trump forced or asked him to step down and said that he was even included in the conversation about who should replace him.
Priebus maintained that the president didn’t ask him to leave and that the two discussed several prospects for the position.
Apparently, his feelings of admiration and respect for the president are mutual.
“I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!” Trump tweeted after his initial announcement.
He also shouted out to reporters as he stepped off of Air Force One that “Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody, a great, great American. But Reince Priebus – a good man.”
Priebus dismissed leading questions in his interview by stating, “I’m not going to get into all of this personal stuff,” he said. “The president is a professional and I’m a professional.”
Priebus seemed in good spirits following his resignation, saying, “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.”
As for what he will do next?
Priebus said he will be taking some much-overdue vacation time with his family.