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Trump set for his first Army-Navy football game as president

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, 3:57 p.m.
President Donald Trump greets people after arriving via Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Trump is attending the Army-Navy football game. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump greets people after arriving via Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Trump is attending the Army-Navy football game. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy Football Game. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump pauses as he talks to media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy Football Game. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump mixed politics and sports Saturday, announcing the departure of his chief of staff before settling in for Army-Navy football game.

The commander in chief flew to Philadelphia for the 119th meeting in the storied rivalry between the service academies, and was to officiate the coin toss at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

As he left the White House, Trump told reporters that chief of staff John Kelly would step down at year’s end. The president was expected to soon name a replacement, and a White House official said Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, was Trump’s top choice.

Earlier Saturday, Trump picked an Army general, Mark Milley, to be his next top military adviser.

Trump, who saw the Army-Navy contest in 2016 as president-elect, will become the 10th sitting president to go to the game. President Theodore Roosevelt was the first, in 1901.

Like previous commanders in chief, Trump was expected to switch sides at halftime in a show of impartiality.

No. 22 Army (9-2) is in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1996. The Black Knights have won seven in a row and have defeated Navy (3-9) two straight years.

The series began in 1890, and Navy leads 60-51-7.

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