John Kelly

Comey Says Kelly Called Trump ‘Dishonorable’ In Firing

“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, the Daily Beast reports.

“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… 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 Trump, who appeared to be upset at the FBI’s persistent investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials.”

“According to sources, Comey writes in his book that he encouraged Kelly to remain in his post, saying ‘this president,’ more than his predecessors, needed people of principle and integrity around him.”

Kelly Cedes Control to New Faces

CNN: “Now less engaged in West Wing decisions and less visible in Trump’s day-to-day, Kelly has found himself on a downward slide, sources familiar with the situation said. Though Kelly used to hold senior staff meetings in his office three times a week, the chief of staff has reduced those to one per week, preferring instead to hold smaller meetings with fewer staffers throughout the day.”

Kelly Threatened to Quit After Argument with Trump

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threatened to quit on March 28, Jonathan Swan reports.

“Kelly blew up at Trump in an Oval Office meeting that day, and while walking back to his office muttered he was going to quit. Sources said it was not related to the David Shulkin firing that happened the same day.”

“A senior administration official said that calling it a threat was ‘probably too strong, it was more venting frustration.’ Kelly often says he doesn’t have to be there and didn’t seek the job originally.”

Washington Post: How John Kelly faded as White House disciplinarian.

Trump Freezes Out John Kelly

Associated Press: “When President Donald Trump made a congratulatory phone call to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, White House chief of staff John Kelly wasn’t on the line. When Trump tapped John Bolton to be his next national security adviser, Kelly wasn’t in the room. And when Trump spent a Mar-a-Lago weekend stewing over immigration and trade, Kelly wasn’t in sight.”

“Kelly, once empowered to bring order to a turbulent West Wing, has receded from view, his clout diminished, his word less trusted by staff and his guidance less tolerated by an increasingly go-it-alone president.”

“Trump recently told one confidant that he was ‘tired of being told no’ by Kelly and has instead chosen to simply not tell Kelly things at all.”

Trump Freezes Out Kelly

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has lost some of his clout following recent missteps and wasn’t at President Trump’s side for recent crucial decisions on staffing and policy moves,” Bloomberg reports.

“Kelly wasn’t with the president last week when Trump abruptly decided to oust H.R. McMaster as national security adviser and replace him with John Bolton. Just two people were in the room for that decision: Trump and Bolton.”

“And Kelly is rarely on the line any more when Trump calls foreign leaders. Last week, when Trump spoke with President Vladimir Putin days before the U.S. decided to expel dozens of Russian diplomats, Kelly wasn’t on the call.”

Scaramucci Attacking Kelly with Trump’s Blessing

President Trump has emboldened Anthony Scaramucci to continue attacking White House chief of staff John Kelly during his cable news appearances, CNN reports.

“In multiple television segments, Scaramucci has faulted Kelly for the ‘terrible morale’ in the West Wing, at times referring to him as ‘General Jackass’ and suggesting he apologize for his handling of the Rob Porter resignation. According to this source, the President is aware of Scaramucci’s criticisms and has not discouraged him from making them.”

Comment About God Punishing Kelly Annoyed Trump

“White House chief of staff John Kelly’s comment that God punished him when he left the Department of Homeland Security for the West Wing aggravated President Trump and was not well received,” CBS News reports.

“Kelly made the remark, in a joking fashion… But the president did not take the joke so well. Mr. Trump believes he gave Kelly a lot of power when he arrived, and thinks Kelly should remember and appreciate that — not suggest he was cursed.”

‘Only One Survives’

Jonathan Swan: “The Trump family — and the president’s oldest son, Don Jr., in particular — was angry about the overwhelmingly negative TV coverage about Jared Kushner last night, and feels White House Chief of Staff Kelly is hanging Jared out to dry.”

“Over the past few weeks I’ve found fewer people internally willing to defend Jared. Politically, I’ve never seen him so exposed.”

Said one White House official: “Javanka and Kelly are locked in a death match. Two enter. Only one survives.”

Abuse Scandal Consumes White House

“The more frantically the White House tries to extricate itself from the Rob Porter scandal, the deeper it digs into a political hole,” CNN reports.

“Eight days in, it’s beginning to look like the storm set off by the surfacing of allegations by two ex-wives of the former presidential aide will never abate, absent a decisive intervention by President Trump in moment of accountability and self-criticism that seems alien to this White House.”

Multiple sources told CNN that Trump has not yet decided whether to replace chief of staff John Kelly “but that conversations about who could succeed him have heated up.”

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweets: “Several White House officials are now prefacing or concluding their sentences in conversations with reporters by making clear they can’t swear by the information they’ve just given.”

Kelly Offered to Resign as Chief of Staff

White House chief of staff John Kelly “has made clear to the president in the last 24 hours that he’s willing to resign in light of the president’s dissatisfaction over the West Wing’s handling of the allegations against former Staff Secretary Rob Porter,” ABC News reports.

“While Kelly’s fate is in question, sources familiar with the matter said they did not believe his departure is imminent.”

Meanwhile, Axios says Trump has floated three possible replacements for Kelly: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, OMB chief Mick Mulvaney and businessman Tom Barrack.

Kelly Instructs Staff to Tell Story Many Think Is Untrue

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “instructed senior staff to communicate a version of events about the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter that contradicts the administration’s previous accounts,” the Washington Post reports.

“During a staff meeting, Kelly told those in attendance to say that he took action to remove Porter within 40 minutes of learning that the allegations brought by his two ex-wives were credible… That version of events contradicts both the public record and accounts from numerous other White House officials in recent days as the Porter drama unfolded.”

Some staffers “after the meeting expressed disbelief with one another and felt his latest account was not true.”

White House Knew of Abuse Allegations for Months

“White House Counsel Donald McGahn knew one year ago that Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wives accused him of domestic violence, but allowed him to serve as an influential gatekeeper and aide to President Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“Chief of Staff John F. Kelly learned in September about the allegations of spousal abuse and that they were delaying Porter’s security clearance amid an ongoing FBI investigation. But Kelly handed Porter more responsibilities to control the flow of information to the president.”