Politico: “According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.”
Several months ago, President Trump “ordered the promotion of Rudy Giuliani’s son. But instead of getting promoted, he has lost his West Wing pass,” Axios reports.
“We’re told that chief of staff John Kelly did not follow through on the order, and Andrew has not been promoted. Kelly and others, including Office of Public Liaison director Justin Clark, won’t promote Andrew because they think he ‘subverts the chain of command’ and claim he had other issues in the workplace that they weren’t happy about.”
Politico: “White House chief of staff John Kelly has declined all requests to appear on the Sunday show circuit, even though the president loves seeing his staff mount combative defenses of him on TV. But he was willing to sit down with a National Public Radio reporter he has known for years – John Burnett, who forged a good relationship with Kelly when he spent time embedded with the four-star general in Iraq, sources said – for an extended stemwinder that circumvented the Washington reporters Kelly has come to view with a mix of distrust and disdain.”
“Former colleagues said Kelly generally does not like being prepped for interviews, and won’t read talking points.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly told NPR that he has no regrets over taking his job.
Said Kelly: “No. I mean there’s times of great frustration, mostly because of the stories I’ve read about myself or others that I think the world of which is just about everyone that works at the complex. I wonder if it’s worth it to be subjected to that. But then I grow up and suck it up.”
He added: “In retrospect I wish I had been here from Day One. … I think in some cases in terms of staffing or serving the president that first six months was pretty chaotic, and there were people, some people, hired that maybe shouldn’t have. … I wish I’d been here from the beginning because I could have brought the organization from, you know, from day one.”
Axios: The astonishing list of Trump officials who threatened to quit.
New York Times: “The president has come to believe that Mr. Kelly is hiding things from him, in the view of people who work in the White House and insist on anonymity to describe private conversations. He has complained that Mr. Kelly has not been forthcoming about the pasts of some staff members, who either opposed him during the 2016 presidential primaries or had connections to the Bush family.”
“And he has taken to venting about Mr. Kelly to an array of friends and supporters, while expressing confidence that recent successes — such as the continued strength of the economy and progress toward nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea — are proof that he is his own best adviser.”
Politico: 5 tricks for surviving in Trump’s cabinet.
Said Kelly: “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.”
“White House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president’s intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials,” NBC News reports.
“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.”
Said on official: “He says stuff you can’t believe. He’ll say it and you think, ‘That is not what you should be saying.'”
Vanity Fair: “Now, talk of Kelly being jettisoned is ramping up again. According to sources familiar with the situation, White House officials and Trump confidantes are currently discussing the possibility of moving Kelly to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. These people say that the collapse of Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson’s nomination has created an opening for Trump to slide Kelly into the role. It would give Kelly a soft landing, while also having the benefit of putting a qualified official in charge of the sprawling department.”
Said one Republican: “They’re looking for a place for Kelly to land that won’t be embarrassing for him.”
“It’s unclear how actively Trump is considering the shake-up. (A White House spokesperson said Kelly is not being considered for the V.A.) Such a move, after all, would magnify the fact that Trump hasn’t settled on a viable successor for Kelly’s job…. The names that have surfaced in the past—lobbyist David Urban, Blackstone senior adviser Wayne Berman, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney—don’t appear any closer to being Trump’s pick.”
“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.”
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.”
“When you lose that power you become a virtual White House intern, being told where to go and what to do.”
— Former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, quoted by the Washington Post, saying that current White House chief of staff John Kelly has lost his “credibility and influence.”
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.
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.”
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has lost significant influence with President Trump, according to several sources within Trump’s orbit,” The Hill reports.
“Those sources say that Trump has proven increasingly resistant to the discipline that Kelly has sought to impose on the White House since he took over from Reince Priebus last summer.”