This is interesting.
Among those swirling rumors of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s declining influence within the Trump administration comes this Axios story of just how frustrating it is for a serious, career military man to switch gears and try to become a wrangler for the bag of cats that serve as Trump’s brain.
According to Axios’ sources, Kelly blew up and uttered a threat to quit on March 28.
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.
This wasn’t Kelly’s first threat-slash-frustration-vent. He has, according to sources, threatened to quit more than once over the past 8 months he’s been in his position.
At the point he was on March 28, he was said to have gathered up some personal things, but the sources don’t believe it was necessarily because he was about to walk out, at that very moment.
It was bad enough that colleagues were calling on friends to call him and calm him down.
At one point DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — perhaps the person in the administration he trusts most — came over to talk him off the ledge.
For now, he seems to be in off of that ledge, but given the increasing roar of rumors, it’s not out of order to believe that either he jumps, or President Trump gives him a push.