Ron Klain, Joe Biden’s chief of staff, will step down after Biden delivers his State of the Union address, according to reports.
His exit comes amid another scandal involving Biden’s mishandling of classified documents and government suppression of that information from the public.
Klain, who served for two years in the White House, will remain at his post until sometime after Biden’s SOTU address on Feb. 7.
Klain’s departure would come at a difficult time for Biden, with a special counsel investigating his handling of classified information after his time as vice president and with the administration and the president’s family facing renewed scrutiny by the GOP-controlled US House of Representatives. An official familiar with Klain’s plans said his decision to step down is not related to the investigation underway about classified documents found at Biden’s private office and Delaware residence, with the decision being made before the special counsel was announced.
Klain’s expected exit has been widely discussed within and around the White House in recent weeks, though those discussions – and the speculation about who would replace Klain – has intensified in recent days. Those deliberations happened to coincide with the public disclosure of the misplaced classified documents, and multiple people familiar with the situation have said there has been sensitivity around avoiding the incorrect suggestion that Klain’s eventual departure might somehow be tied to that development.
Klain has been mulling his departure since November’s midterm elections, according to a person familiar with the matter, who said people inside the White House have watched closely for clues as to his intentions. Klain is known to email staff at all hours and even check on gas prices in the middle of the night – a work pace that many of his colleagues viewed as unsustainable in the long run.
A search for a replacement is reportedly underway, with Senior Adviser Anita Dunn, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and adviser Susan Rice considered possible alternatives.
A Tucker Carlson highlighted in November, Klain was an authoritarian and a buffoon.
Tucker just ended Ron Klain’s career.
I’ve never seen a beating like this broadcast on live TV. Wow 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ayjYFYtnRo
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 4, 2022
But given his possible replacements, those qualities probably won’t be in short supply.