State lawmakers react to Reince Priebus' resignation as White House chief of staff

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-29 10:00:25-04

President Donald Trump named General John Kelly his new chief of staff Friday, replacing Kenosha native Reince Priebus, who resigned this week.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told WTMJ Radio that the resignation is just part of the Trump “style.”

The Kenosha native is credited for helping southeast Wisconsin land one of its biggest business deals ever: Foxconn.

In an interview this week with Charles Benson it was Priebus who said he showed the location to the president back in the spring.

"He said, 'What is that, why is all that land vacant that land should be used.' So when Foxconn came into the White House, into the Oval Office. 'I know a good spot, you should go to that place in Kenosha,'" said Priebus.

While that deal was being announced, there was tension brewing in the White House. Trump named a new communication chief Anthony Scaramucci who called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and vowed to get him fired. Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and vowed to get him fired. Preibus' friend and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos did not mince words when it came to what he thought of those comments.

"It's a den of vipers," said Vos. "The fact that somebody brand new to the office gave an interview full of swear words and backbiting about other people that he doesn't even know to me doesn't speak very well of him. But I understand why Reince said this is just not something I want to be part of."

Priebus says he and the president agreed it was best for him to step down.

"I think the president wanted to go a different direction. I support him in that," said Priebus in an interview after the announcement.

Vos says despite losing some influence in the Oval Office, Wisconsin will still have a strong influence in Washington.

"Luckily for those of us who live in southeast Wisconsin and Wisconsin in general, Paul Ryan is still the speaker, Scott Walker is still the governor that is the head of the Governors' Association and has good connections with the White House," said Vos.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson called Priebus “a good friend,” in a statement.

“I thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck going forward,” Johnson said. “Secretary Kelly is an outstanding leader who has served his country honorably and I know he will do an excellent job at the White House. I look forward to working with the administration as they choose a new leader for the Department of Homeland Sfeelsity.”

Priebus said he supports General Kelly.  Vos said he feel the choice to resign is a good move for Priebus personally. Priebus was chief of staff for just 189 days, that's the shortest in modern presidential history.