White House chief of staff Ron Klain to step down after State of the … – USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, the top aide guiding President Joe Biden’s first two years in office, intends to step down in the weeks following the president’s State of the Union address, according to The New York Times and CNN
An exact timeline for Klain’s departure has not yet been set, the Times and CNN reports say, though the president’s annual address will take place on Feb. 7. 
Klain, 61, is a close confidant of Biden and has long worked by his side. He acted as a senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign, and was Biden’s chief of staff when the now-president was vice president. Klain also served as chief of staff to vice president Al Gore.
Klain became Biden’s chief of staff in January 2021, when the president took office. His departure comes as Biden is widely expected to announce by the spring plans to run for reelection in 2024.
The president entered the new year with momentum after Democrats exceeded expectations in the midterm elections. But Biden is now under increased scrutiny after a cache of classified documents were found at the president’s former office at a think tank in Washington and at his Wilmington home. 
House Republicans, who won back the chamber last fall, plan to investigate the Biden administration and the “weaponization of the federal government,” including the DOJ’s probes into the Biden documents and different confidential files found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August. 
But Klain’s departure is not related to those developments, according to the Times and CNN reports. Klain did not immediately respond to USA TODAY for comment.
Klain’s departure marks the most significant exit of the Biden administration, which has seen no Cabinet secretaries leave and few staff changes, which are typical after a president’s first two years.
Top advisers to Biden are being considered for the role, according to the reports, including Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president; Susan Rice, a White House domestic policy adviser; and Jeffrey Zients, who formerly coordinated the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response, according to the reports. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was also mentioned as being a potential pick.
The chief of staff job is notoriously challenging with frequent turnover. James A. Baker III, chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, has described the position as the “the worst (expletive) job in government.”
The Obama administration saw five chiefs of staff in eight years. Former President Donald Trump had four chiefs of staff during his one-term presidency. 

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