By Scott Bauer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Close personal and political allies of Reince Priebus in Wisconsin voiced their displeasure Friday with the news that he had been replaced as White House chief of staff after just seven months on the job.
President Donald Trump tweeted late Friday afternoon that he had replaced Priebus — who is from Kenosha and helped orchestrate both Walker’s first victory as governor in 2010 and Trump’s win last fall.
“Dumb move by (White House) insiders struggling for influence,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tweeted, saying he was disappointed. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke echoed those comments, also tweeting that it was a “bad move by Trump.”
Priebus was head of the Wisconsin Republican Party, helping Walker win in 2010. That victory helped catapult Priebus to the head of the Republican National Committee, putting him in place to oversee Trump’s surprise win in November.
Priebus’ hold on the White House job has long been in question, more so this week after Trump’s new communications director badmouthed him to a reporter for the New Yorker. Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci over Priebus’s objections and Scaramucci reports directly to the president.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a longtime friend of Priebus’, said he “left it all out on the field, for our party and our country.” He credited Priebus with revitalizing the RNC and served Trump as chief of staff “capably and passionately.”
“He has achieved so much, and he has done it all with class,” Ryan said. “I could not be more proud to call Reince a dear friend.”
The news came just two days after Priebus basked in the glow of Trump announcing, with Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker by his side, at the announcement that electronics giant Foxconn planned to build a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin that could employ up to 13,000 people.
Walker did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Priebus is being replaced by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.