But news website The Daily Caller - which has close ties to the Trump administration - reported one White House source had dismissed claims of Kelly's departure as 'absolutely untrue'. The president often remarks on Kelly's lack of political skills and has told advisers in recent days that he needs a more political chief of staff for his reelection. McGahn had refused to publicly deny the reporting.
"Sure, Trump says he wants him gone, and Kelly swears and leaves and says he's not coming back".
CNN's Kaitlan Collins reported on Friday that Trump and Kelly had reached a "stalemate in their relationship", and had stopped speaking to one another.
Compounding the rumors were reports surrounding Kelly taking the day off on Friday, as the president traveled to Missouri. And his handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.
The officials confirmed the decision Friday on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.
Trump has been advised to bring on a chief of staff better suited to and familiar with the rough and tumble of a re-election campaign. He replaced Reince Priebus, who had held the job for six months.
The president reportedly plans to make the announcement at Saturday's annual Army-Navy football game.
Barr is likely to face tough questions at his confirmation hearing about how he will handle the ongoing special counsel investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.