NPR logo Emanuel To Step Down As White House Chief Of Staff

Politics

Emanuel To Step Down As White House Chief Of Staff

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (right) speaks to Phil Schiliro, assistant to the president for legislative affairs, in the East Room of the White House earlier this month. Emanuel will step down Friday to pursue a possible bid for Chicago mayor, sources tell NPR. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Charles Dharapak/AP

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (right) speaks to Phil Schiliro, assistant to the president for legislative affairs, in the East Room of the White House earlier this month. Emanuel will step down Friday to pursue a possible bid for Chicago mayor, sources tell NPR.

Charles Dharapak/AP

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will step down Friday to pursue a possible bid to become the next mayor of Chicago, sources close to him confirmed Thursday to NPR.

Emanuel, a former congressman and Clinton administration adviser before accepting the chief of staff position in November 2008, will announce his resignation Friday, two Chicago-based sources said. He then will visit Chicago neighborhoods as soon as this weekend to hear voters' concerns ahead of a "possible" run for mayor of the Windy City.

The sources said President Obama would hold a Rose Garden briefing Friday where he would thank Emanuel for his service.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to confirm the departure of Emanuel but said the president would make a personnel announcement at 11:05 a.m. ET Friday.

When asked whether senior advisor Pete Rouse might be named as interim chief of staff, Gibbs declined again to comment, other than to say the president has "complete loyalty and trust" in Rouse.

Emanuel started his political career as a policy adviser and fundraiser on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's 1989 campaign. The chief of staff's plans have been the source of widespread speculation in both Chicago and Washington since Daley announced this month that he would not seek another term in the February election. In an April television interview, Emanuel had called it "no secret" that he'd like to run for mayor.

Daley, who has held the mayor's job since 1989 and carried on a family dynasty, surprised many with his announcement. The choice for Emanuel suddenly became whether he would make a dash for the political job he has openly coveted, at a cost of uprooting his family again and quitting his post of national influence more quickly than expected.

David Shaper, Scott Neuman and the Associated Press contributed to this article.