General John Kelly, the level-headed war veteran hired to bring order to Trump’s unruly White House in July, may be already planning his exit strategy.
According to The New York Times, Kelly has been both shocked and appalled by his new boss’s style of management and claims to have never been spoken to so badly in his entire 35 year career.
Aides have begun guessing not if he will leave but when, with some saying it could be as soon as next month.
According to those who spoke anonymously, Kelly was particularly outraged by an outburst by the president after a rally in Arizona last month.
Aides had tried to advise the president afterwards that he ought to focus less on politics and more on day-to-day governing, an attempt the president did not take kindly to.
White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly complained that he had never been spoken to so badly in his entire 35 years of service after being scolded by Trump in one bust-up last month, White House aides say
Kelly bore the brunt of his rage, they said. Afterwards, he reportedly told them he would not tolerate being spoken to with such vitriol again.
Unlike the long-list of younger aides who have been unceremoniously fired and swapped out by Trump since his inauguration, Kelly, a four-star Marine general with a stern, no-nonsense approach to public service, is in no need of career enhancement.
His decision to join the floundering administration was born more out of duty to his country than of his allegiance to the president, sources say.
Since being sworn in on July 31, he has implemented a strict new order.
Ivanka Trump now checks in with him first before going to see her father to discuss policy issues and Kelly has restricted what the president reads.
Trump insists he is thrilled with his new Chief of Staff. He tweeted this on Friday, a month after Kelly was sworn in
The president still seeks advice from ousted Chief Strategist Steve Bannon but Kelly now listens in on their calls, aides claimed. The pair are pictured in January before the White House chaos began
According to the Times, he has stopped Trump’s daily print-out of articles by far-right media outlets Breitbart news and The Daily Caller.
He listens in to some of the president’s phone calls to friends and former aides including Steve Bannon, the Chief Strategist Trump fired in August.
There is no indication Trump is disappointed with his new Chief of Staff’s performance.
To the contrary, he regularly shares plaudits for him on Twitter, his favorite medium, where he assures fans Kelly is doing ‘a great job’.
Kelly, unlike almost every other member of the administration who has been fired or who has resigned, says nothing to the media.
He made a stern point of cracking down on leakers immediately after taking office, vowing to White House staffers on one of his first days in the role that it would not be tolerated.
Critics of Kelly fear he is keeping the president from taking advice from his closest friends.
Among them is Roger Stone, a long time adviser to Trump.
He told the Times: ‘It is inevitable that a guy who will not be contained and does not want to be handled or managed was going to rebel against the latest manager who wanted to control him.
‘Ultimately Donald Trump is his own man, and he’s going to resist all the control and regimented systems Kelly is trying to impose.’
Kelly took over from Reince Priebus at the end of July. He is seen with the president in the Oval Office on January 20