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Mattis, Kelly hatched travel pact to keep tabs on Trump: report

Two of President Trump's top advisers reportedly agreed in the early days of the administration that they would not leave the United States at the same time, in order to ensure they could monitor orders coming from the White House.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — who was sworn in as chief of staff on Monday — agreed in the early weeks of Trump's presidency to coordinate travel plans so that one of them would always be in the United States.

The pact, revealed to The AP by an anonymous official close to Mattis and Kelly, seems to hint at the nature of the Trump administration's internal relations.

Both Mattis and Kelly have been active in providing clarification of executive orders released by the White House.

In January, it was reported that Mattis was drafting a list of Iraqis who helped the U.S. military and should be exempt from Trump's initial travel ban that prohibited incoming visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations, including Iraq.

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Kelly was also active in clarifying that order, stating that green card holders would be exempt from the ban.

Keeping one adviser stateside hasn't always kept Mattis and Kelly ahead of crucial White House decisions, however. Last week, it was revealed that Mattis only had one day's notice of Trump's ban on transgender persons serving in the military, and was reportedly appalled by the decision.

Kelly was named the new White House chief of staff at the end of last week, when Reince Priebus resigned. The Trump administration has not yet named a new leader for the DHS.

"I have been fortunate to have served my country for more than 45 years — first as a Marine and then as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. I am honored to be asked to serve as the chief of staff to the president of the United States," Kelly said in a statement.