As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: John Kelly

Trump to Remove National Security Aide at Melania’s Request

Sounds like Mira Ricardel, one of National Security Advisor John Bolton’s most trusted aides, rubbed the first lady the wrong way.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Trump has already decided to remove Ms. Ricardel, the top deputy for national security adviser John Bolton, officials said on Tuesday.

A rift emerged after Mrs. Trump staff’s battled with Ms. Ricardel during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month over seating on the plane and requests to use National Security Council resources, according to people familiar with the matter. The first lady’s team also told Mr. Trump that they suspect Ms. Ricardel is behind some negative stories about Mrs. Trump and her staff.

The first lady’s office issued a statement on Tuesday calling for Ms. Ricardel to be dismissed. “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump.

The first lady firing national security aides? That’s a new one.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is also out, just as I learned to spell her name. Her top ally, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, may follow.

Mr. Trump is also leaning toward the ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who is a close ally of Mr. Kelly, White House officials said. The president has decided to replace Ms. Nielsen, but hasn’t finalized the timing, White House officials said, in part because there isn’t an obvious candidate to replace her.

Mr. Trump has told aides that he is aware that forcing out Ms. Nielsen may result in Mr. Kelly quitting, administration officials said. Mr. Trump has told these aides that he is resigned to the possibility of Mr. Kelly leaving, and that he probably will replace Mr. Kelly with Nick Ayers, who is currently chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

Kelly Attacked Lewandowski Outside the Oval Office

It must be global warming. That’s what I’m thinking.

According to the New York Times:

An argument last February between the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and Corey Lewandowski, an informal adviser to President Trump, turned into a physical altercation that required Secret Service intervention just outside the Oval Office, according to a half-dozen people familiar with the events.

Mr. Kelly has shown little inclination to curb his own instinct for confrontation, from scuffling with a Chinese official during a visit to Beijing last year to last week’s profanity-laced shouting match with John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, after a meeting with the president.

Mr. Trump had both men in his office, according to those briefed on the event. Mr. Lewandowski, the president’s first campaign manager, was there for a previously scheduled appointment.

Mr. Kelly criticized Mr. Lewandowski to Mr. Trump for making so much money off the president in the form of his contract with the super PAC supporting the president’s re-election. Mr. Kelly also expressed his anger that Mr. Lewandowski had been criticizing him on television for his handling of the security clearance controversy related to Mr. Porter.

As Mr. Kelly walked toward a hallway leading back to his office, he called to someone to remove Mr. Lewandowski from the building. The two then began arguing, with Mr. Lewandowski speaking loudly. Mr. Kelly grabbed Mr. Lewandowski by his collar, trying to push him against a wall, according to a person with direct knowledge of the episode.

Mr. Lewandowski did not get physical in response, according to multiple people familiar with the episode. But Secret Service agents were called in. Ultimately, the two men agreed to move on, those briefed on the episode said.

So Lewandowski is the cooler head. That would make Kelly a very hot head, particularly for someone with so much responsibility during a crisis.

I can’t tell you how weird this is, having spent a lot of time at the White House. It’s a cool, quiet, albeit intense place. Squirrels will crawl up your pants looking for food because nothing dramatic ever happens.

Well, Americans didn’t vote for business as usual!

Bolton and Kelly Get in Profanity-Laced Shouting Match Over Immigration

Both CNN and Bloomberg are reporting that National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Cheif of Staff John Kelly got into a verbal brawl over the continued influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

According to CNN:

A heated argument in the West Wing between chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton over a recent surge in border crossings turned into a shouting match Thursday, two sources familiar with the argument told CNN.

The exchange lay bare a bitter disagreement that has existed between two of President Donald Trump’s top aides for weeks now.

Trump, who was incensed about the rising levels of migrants and threatened to shut down the southern border on Twitter earlier that morning, took Bolton’s side during the argument. Bolton favors a harder line approach to the issue and criticized Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the argument, a source said. Nielsen used to serve as Kelly’s deputy when he ran DHS. Bolton reportedly said Nielsen needed to start doing her job, which incensed Kelly.

The President, who sources say was present for the beginning of the shouting match, later denied knowledge of it.

“I’ve not heard about it. No,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One to fly to Montana on Thursday afternoon.

There was some concern within the White House, according to Bloomberg, that one of the two might resign.

That would more likely be Kelly, who has a long list of grievances. I would imagine Kelly will be gone by the end of the year in any case.

Kelly to Remain as Chief of Staff

Well, looks like Gen. John Kelly may go from on his way out the door to one of the longest-serving White House chiefs of staf in history.

From the Wall Street Journal:

White House chief of staff John Kelly told staff on Monday that President Trump had asked him to remain in his post through the 2020 election, White House officials said, a request that came as tensions between the two men have eased in recent months.

Mr. Kelly told staff members he agreed to the president’s request, one of the officials said.

Mr. Kelly, who on Monday marked his first anniversary as chief of staff, had been widely expected to leave the White House sometime this summer.

Mr. Trump in recent months has consulted with advisers about whom he should tap as his next chief of staff, considering as possible successors Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Mick Mulvaney, who heads the Office of Management and Budget and serves as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If Mr. Kelly stays in his post through 2020, he would be among the longest-serving White House chiefs of staff in U.S. history.

So much for all the MSM reporting he was finished. Apparently he and the president have reached some kind of accomodation that doesn’t overly cramp President Trump’s style.

NBC: Kelly Called Trump “An Idiot;” Kelly: Story is “Total BS”

NBC News is reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is eroding morale, calling President Trump and idiot and suggesting he is saving the country from catastrophe.

According to NBC:

The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they’ve witnessed the comments.

Three White House spokespeople said they don’t believe it’s accurate that Kelly called the president an “idiot,” adding that none of them has ever heard him do that or otherwise use that word.

Kelly denied the report in a statement:

“I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS. I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.”

More from NBC:

Officials said Kelly’s public image as a retired four-star general instilling discipline on a chaotic White House and an impulsive president belies what they describe as the undisciplined and indiscreet approach he’s employed as chief of staff. The private manner aides describe may shed new light on why Kelly now finds himself — just nine months into the job — grappling with diminished influence and a drumbeat of questions about how long he’ll remain at the White House.

“He says stuff you can’t believe,” said one senior White House official. “He’ll say it and you think, ‘That is not what you should be saying.'”

Trump, who aides said has soured on his second chief of staff, is aware of some though not all of Kelly’s comments, according to the current and former officials.

The White House spokespeople said they haven’t heard Kelly talk about himself as the one saving the country, and that if anything he may have spoken in jest along those lines.

Current and former White House officials said Kelly has at times made remarks that have rattled female staffers. Kelly has told aides multiple times that women are more emotional than men, including at least once in front of the president, four current and former officials said.

And during a firestorm in February over accusations of domestic abuse against then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter, Kelly wondered aloud how much more Porter would have to endure before his honor could be restored, according to three officials who were present for the comments. He also questioned why Porter’s ex-wives wouldn’t just move on based on the information he said he had about his marriages, the officials said.

Comey: Kelly Called Trump “Dishonorable” for Firing Me

From the Daily Beast:

Within minutes of his firing in May, former FBI director James Comey received a call from John Kelly, then the head of the Department of Homeland Security and now the White House chief of staff.

According to Comey’s account, which is set to appear in his highly-anticipated forthcoming memoir, Kelly was “emotional” over the manner in which Comey was let go. The then-FBI Director had reportedly been in California at the time, speaking to FBI agents in Los Angeles, and only found out that he was out of a job when he saw the news break on TV.

Kelly, Comey recalls, said he was “sick” about the situation and “intended to quit” in protest. Kelly “said he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people,” referring specifically to President Donald Trump, who appeared to be upset at the FBI’s persistent investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials.

Well, Comey’s book is out next week, and the little Boy Scout is going to be telling on everybody. And he’ll make a lot of money. But I think, ultimately, he’s going to help Trump. Because he’ll energize voters who will view him for what he is, a sanctimonious guardian of the Deep State.

But, sheesh, how many times has Kelly threatened to quit? I think he’s sick of his job and Trump is sick of him. Trump has ground him down. I’d say Kelly is gone by the end of May.

Kelly to Remain as Chief of Staff for Now

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has apparently dodged whatever bullets are flying around the West Wing and will remain in his job.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly have settled on a truce, at least temporarily, as the latest round of staff tumult continues to ripple through the West Wing, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Jarred by the treatment of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom the president fired by tweet on Tuesday morning, Mr. Kelly suggested to colleagues that he may be the next to be pushed out of the White House. Mr. Kelly’s cryptic comments left several White House staffers with the impression that Mr. Kelly would force the issue with the president, and that they should start looking for new jobs, too.

But on Thursday, Messrs. Trump and Kelly had a productive meeting that left both men reassured. Mr. Trump told advisers afterward that Mr. Kelly was “100% safe.” Mr. Kelly told his associates that, at least for the moment, he and the president had patched things up. “I’m in,” Mr. Kelly told staff.

Scaramucci Goes After John Kelly: There’s a “Culture of Fear”

Well, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired Anthony Scaramucci, and the Mooch still ain’t happy about it.

So why do I run this video when it’s obviously, despite what Scaramucci says, part retribution? Because the Mooch makes some good points. First, it’s interesting that he still talks to President Trump, at least according to Scaramucci. And second, he makes the great point that Kelly’s quest for “order” has come at a price. Trump, especially once Hope Hicks leaves, will have few genuine loyalists around. Peers like Scaramucci and Steve Bannon, whom he could pal around with during the day, are gone. It’s not a great environment for a president who cares about his environment, which is probably why he’s spending so much time these days in the residence.

And the Mooch has a point that he got shoved out the door for a few choice words to a journalist while Rob Porter was allowed to hang around until an actual photo of one of the women he abused emerged.

Also, as a New Yorker, I love hearing these two New Yorkers talk to each other. I mean, waddaya want?

Sanders Wants Kelly to Face the Press on Porter

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has apparently had it with trying to explain what the White House did about Rob Porter and wants Chief of Staff John Kelly to come to the briefing room podium and do it himself. That makes sense. This thing has gone on incredibly long. A smart White House would… Continue Reading

House Oversight Committee to Investigate Porter White House Tenure

According to the Washington Examiner: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has launched an investigation into former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s employment with the Trump administration, committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Wednesday . . . Gowdy said he is not only troubled by the fact that Porter had been working with an… Continue Reading