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Reince Priebus stands by Trump in first interview since White House ouster

Priebus out, Kelly in

Outgoing White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on CNN Friday night said he formally resigned Thursday, but at the same time said he supported the president's decision to go in a "different direction."

"I think the president wanted to go in a different direction. I support him in that," Priebus told Wolf Blitzer in his first interview since the president announced his departure on Twitter late Friday. 

Priebus said he's "doing great," and refused to say anything negative about the president, or new communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who assailed Priebus in a profanity-laced tirade published in the New Yorker Thursday. Priebus said he plans to continue to support Mr. Trump's agenda and policies. 

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"I'm always going to be a Trump fan," Priebus said. "I'm on team Trump."

Priebus said he'll stay on for a couple of weeks as Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly takes his place. Priebus said he and the president discussed several options for his replacement, and Priebus thought Kelly was a "smart" pick. 

Priebus said he thinks it's a good time to bring in "fresh" people, even though Mr. Trump has only been in office six months. 

"I think it's a good time to hit the reset button," Priebus said. "I think he was right to hit the reset button."

Priebus also said the president "has the best political instincts."

Priebus refused to say whether he was a leaker in the White House, after Scaramucci on Twitter all but accused him of leaking his financial disclosure information. Priebus said he declined to answer that question out of respect for the president. 

"I'm going to honor the president every day," Priebus said. 

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