What’s the future for White House Chief of Staff John Kelly?
All of this, partly due to the Russian casserole currently baking in Washington.
Some critical of Kelly lament his inability to counsel the President in a way that results in a toning down of Trumpness.
But could anyone do that? The Donald is a New York eccentric who sits on a gold toilet.
Imagine you’re reading this while perched on top of a golden toilet; do you care what anyone thinks?
According to The Hill, one source reports an “80 percent” chance of Kelly’s resignation.
Added to the mix is an article in Vanity Fair charging Republicans’ public criticism of Trump’s handling of the Helsinki press conference (covered here — I’m trying to temper my “here and here” links based on your comments, because I’m not as independently-minded as Trump; but if I ever get a gold toilet, watch out, Jack!) was encouraged by Kelly.
NEW from @GabrielSherman: According to three sources close to the White House, John Kelly called Republicans on Capitol Hill and gave them the go-ahead to criticize Trump https://t.co/BfLqRPJPYV
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) July 17, 2018
The New York Times claimed Kelly told Republicans to try and talk some sense into Donald.
Vanity Fair published a new article today, titled “Has John Kelly Died His Last Political Death?” (written, strangely, by Jon Kelly).
The Hill’s source says Trump, at this point in the game, is more likely to spite Kelly than to listen:
“'[Kelly] started hammering him, saying, “We have to fix it,” even as the President’s plane was returning from the Putin summit,’ this source said. ‘But John’s stock is so low that Trump disregards Kelly’s advice out of spite. [Trump] didn’t fully recognize the problem, and that’s why it took so long for the walk back.'”
However, some claim that narrative may be the product of Kelly’s enemies who are trying to undercut his reputation.
Blain Rethmeier, a Kelly associate, described things thusly:
“I think there is a misconception that Gen. Kelly can control the president or can fix all the problems that many people see with this administration. … As administrations evolve, some things work well and other things might not work so well. … As long as Gen. Kelly believes he is able to benefit the American people, then I think he will remain.”
On the other hand, another colleague alleged Kelly is over his head:
“I don’t think he was prepared for the amount of politics and the backstabbing and the leaking that happens. It happens in any White House, and in this White House to the nth degree. … I don’t know how anyone from his background can cope with that.”
If Kelly’s job is to restrain Trump, then he has to expect to be blamed for all of the President’s overreaches. But Donald Trump is his own man, and that is obvious to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention. The Donald clearly isn’t controllable; but an advisor should be able to enhance the President’s abilities to navigate executive situations. And maybe Kelly has.
Those opposed to Putin coming to D.C. in the fall at Trump’s request (addressed here) are certainly now no more impressed with Kelly. But dealing with criticism is part of the job, and unless he’s blind or a dolt, he knew all of this going in.
One considerable question, still, is whether Trump respects Kelly. If he doesn’t, Kelly would be doing everyone — including himself — a favor to step down.
What do you think about Kelly’s disposition and job performance? Is there someone else who better fits the bill at this point? Sound off in the Comments section below.
For those of you who missed the relevant RedState links in the article, they’re here and here.
For something totally different, check out my coverage of Iran suing America, what an FBI agent can be, and a reverse-engineering of the NFL situation.
Find all my RedState work here.
And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.