So far, none of the high-level members of the Trump White House have announced they’re leaving (nor has it been announced that they’ve been booted). This, in spite of the fact that we just keep hearing about it.
So what gives? We’re not making the stories up, ourselves. They’re consistent, and they’re coming from somewhere.
Well, Axios has a scoop.
According to their sources, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had an off-the-record session with reporters today, and in that session, he gave his thoughts about who is circulating those troubling rumors of the latest cast members to be ejected from Trump’s latest reality TV show.
Axios got the scoop from three sources who were in on the meeting, and because they weren’t part of it, they’re not bound by the “off-the-record” rules (and it’s probably why they were told).
So who is putting it out there?
Kelly acknowledged to the reporters it’s likely that Trump is talking to people outside the White House and that reporters are then talking to those people. Kelly cast Trump’s own conversations as a significant contributing factor to stories about the staff changes. (Kelly was making the point that he’s not around for a lot of Trump’s conversations so can’t be sure what he’s telling people over the phone.)
Trump left to his own devices…
So why would he do this?
Well, it causes chaos. It keeps people on eggshells, hyper-sensitive, and jumpy.
Not only is it possible that this shakes some out of those undesirables out, voluntarily, but because he likes it.
Kelly went on to say that there are no immediate plans to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
He also touched on the rumors that other Cabinet members may have placed themselves on thin ice, such as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
Some have speculated that the recent kerfuffle regarding a budget-busting dining room set (with a $31,000 price tag) ordered by Carson and his wife, Candy.
Carson said that he didn’t know the expensive set was being ordered for the HUD offices, and canceled the order.
Emails obtained later revealed that Carson not only knew about it, he and his wife shopped for the set together.
Kelly attempted to justify Carson’s line of thinking by suggesting it was an investment.
He rationalized Carson’s $31,000 outlay by saying the table could last for 80 or 100 years. Kelly was pressed on whether the President was going to fire Carson. He made a military analogy. He said whenever he makes a decision, he makes sure that it’s legally permissible and from that line he takes five paces back — to allow for optics, ethical and other considerations. Kelly said he wants all decision-making across government and the impression reporters were left with was that Carson is not going to be fired.
So he doesn’t know.
The curious factor has been raised by having Kelly offer up that the rumor mill was likely fueled by Trump, himself.
That, and he didn’t mention the rumors of his own impending departure.
Let’s keep this in the “Wait and see” file.