Kelly vetting everything that comes across Trump’s desk: reports


White House chief of staff John Kelly is trying to bring order to the Trump administration by ensuring he sees everything the president reads before it hits his desk, as well as reining in previously open-door Oval Office access, according to Thursday reports.

The procedural step, relatively common in past administrations, is a part of an ongoing effort to streamline the White House decisionmaking process, as well as to limit President Trump’s controversial outbursts at rallies, press conferences and social media. 

The administration struggled to stay on the same page under previous chief of staff Reince Priebus, and aides reportedly competed for Trump’s attention in the Oval Office. 

In addition to a close watch on the material crossing Trump’s desk, first reported by Politico, Kelly is keeping a tight leash on who gets face time with the commander in chief, as confirmed by The New York Times.

Visits with Trump in the Oval Office are now strictly by appointment only, the Times said, with exceptions for the first lady, Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, and first daughter Ivanka Trump — provided she is speaking to the president as his daughter and not as a White House adviser.


But Kelly’s efforts have not yet reduced the controversies dogging the White House.

The president came under bipartisan criticism this month in the wake of violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., after which he said “both sides” were responsible.

Trump courted controversy once again during a bombastic rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, in which he lambasted the media, along with Arizona’s two Republican senators, and defended his comments on the Charlottesville violence. 

The president has also launched a series of attacks on Twitter in recent days, hitting his critics, the media, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. 

Kelly’s reported actions would not be the first time staff in the White House attempted to rein Trump in. 

Politico reported in February that Trump’s former campaign staffers would present him with positive media coverage daily in order to limit his inflammatory Twitter outbursts. 

The Washington Post reported in June that staffers encouraged Trump to start his day by having conversations with his legal counsel in an effort to stop him from tweeting about the ongoing probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s efforts to meddle in the presidential election.

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