Reince Priebus is now a former White House employee.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American,” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter to announce Priebus had lost his position as Chief of Staff. “And a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”
Priebus’ exit had not yet been made public when the president tweeted his appointment of Kelly to the position. Several minutes later, with three tweets on Friday afternoon Trump added, “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!”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a statement in support of Priebus, formerly the head of the Republican National Committee, saying, “I could not be more proud to call Reince a dear friend.” He also noted that Priebus has “served the president and the American people capably and passionately.”
But most were not so glowing in their estimation of Priebus’ contributions. New York reporter Olivia Nuzzi tweeted, “It’s impossible to overstate the hatred towards Priebus both inside the White House and from Trump allies on the outside.” She then went on to list a series of derogatory nicknames many White House officials used for Priebus, all based on wordplay around the male reproductive organ.
The internet predictably broke out in glee at the news in a week that has seen newly hired White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci call Priebus “a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” just days after former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in the wake of Scaramucci’s hiring.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper referred back to Scaramucci’s comments in a tweet, writing, “You may not be a ‘paranoiac’ if they’re actually out to get you.” Zach Braff responded to Tapper’s tweet: “Tapper, you should put this on a t-shirt. I’d wear it.”
Actor-director-writer Albert Brooks joked that the recently resigned Spicer and Priebus were rumored to be opening a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream store, while political pundit Ana Navarro suggested that the two former Trump administration officials should compete against each other on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
References to pop culture abounded in the mockery directed at Priebus online. Comedian and television writer Mike Drucker referenced Peter Pettigrew, Lord Voldemort’s sniveling servant in the Harry Potter series, writing, “Reince Priebus will return to his old job, transforming into a rat to escape Harry Potter.” Whereas The Daily Show made direct reference to Trump’s former reality television show The Celebrity Apprentice with a graphic that displayed members of the Trump administration and the caption “Who will be the next to go?! #TheCelebrityApresident.”
Others referenced Mean Girls and the notorious “Burn Book” urging Priebus to “let it out” in response to reports that he did not sign a non-disclosure agreement when he joined the Trump campaign.
Read below for a sampling of tweets.