"I appreciate his service very much", he added.
"A chief of staff for Donald Trump is a factotum and will have virtually no influence", explained Schwartz who knows Trump intimately from his time spent with him on the book they co-authored. Potential replacements include Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, who is still seen as a leading contender.
Trump Friday announced that he would nominate William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, to the same role in his administration. Kelly took part in at least four Oval Office meetings with Trump on Thursday.
Trump, a freewheeling former businessman, brought Kelly in past year to restore order to his often chaotic White House, but clashed repeatedly with him in recent months.
Though Trump asked Kelly over the summer to stay on as chief of staff for two more years, the two have stopped speaking in recent days.
Trump and Kelly's relationship has been strained for months - with Kelly on the verge of resignation and Trump almost firing him several times.
Kelly was not at work Friday morning, though an ally said he was simply taking a day off and would be at the White House for a holiday staff dinner Friday night.
Known through the West Wing as "the chief" or "the general", the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Trump via tweet to try to normalize a White House riven by infighting and competing power bases. Ryder referred other questions to the White House.
Trump said the date of transition is "to be determined".
A source told Reuters last month that Trump was considering a replacement for Kelly.
This story is breaking and being updated. On Friday, he announced that he had picked William Barr for attorney general and Heather Nauert for United Nations ambassador.
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