To say that the Trump Administration has been beset by staffing difficulties would be a colossal understatement. Since taking office some seven months ago, the president has seen over half a dozen of his top staffers depart D.C., one after the other.
He filled one of these top staffers’ positions with Ret. General John Kelly, who he elevated from the position of Secretary of Homeland Security to Chief of Staff following Reince Priebus’ abrupt resignation.
Now, however, a new report from The Washington Post suggests that Kelly might be next to make his exit from D.C. In short, whereas in the past, the president has clashed with staffers over their belligerent personalities clashing with his own, Trump’s apparent conflict with Kelly is over the retired General’s insistence on attempting to rein in the belligerence that has come to define the businessman’s presidential administration.
Reporters Phillip Rucker and Ashley Parker spoke to “several people close to the president,” who all described a grim outlook for Kelly.
The president’s newest chief of staff has moved to streamline flows of both information and people into the Oval Office, a change which the president “chafes” at, since it runs “counter to Trump’s love of spontaneity and brashness.”
Although these so-called “Trump loyalists” — who have reportedly taken to calling Kelly “the church lady,” in mocking reference to the morally pretentious Saturday Night Live character — could be embellishing their account of life inside the White House to make their boss look “special,” it’s not that hard to see Trump as clashing with Kelly. For one, the president’s “love of spontaneity and brashness” is obvious; we don’t exactly need “insider accounts” to give us the scoop here. Just go to the president’s personal Twitter page.
Those who spoke to The Washington Post painted their remarks about Kelly in the context of a broader “hard time” that the president is having in the White House.
Evidently, Trump thought that being president was going to be all fun and games, like his so-called successful businesses or something.
As one source put it:
‘He’s having a very hard time. He doesn’t like the way the media’s handling him. He doesn’t like how Kelly’s handling him. He’s turning on people that are very close to him.’
So will Trump fire Kelly? Only time will tell, although it’s worth noting that the position of White House chief of staff has a historically high turnover rate, so it’s not as though the odds are in Kelly’s favor. Trump’s displeasure with the retired General has reportedly grown so intense that he “raised his voice” with him at one point, ranting and raving about certain border patrol agents not initially being allowed close proximity with him.
People with insider knowledge even say that the president is secretly placing calls to “friends” when Kelly isn’t around.
Kelly isn’t the only one who the petulant child of a president is clashing with. Trump has butted heads with both his top economic adviser and his Secretary of State, in both instances over his desperately lacking response to white supremacist fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump simply can’t stand disloyalty. He obsesses over his personal public image and that of his administration to the point that he has rendered it effectively inoperable. How can he get anything done when he doesn’t even have the same staffers for half a year?