Trump has given staffers assignments and told them not to tell Kelly: report

President Trump has reportedly given staffers direct assignments by calling them secretly to the residence in the evenings, in an attempt to circumvent chief of staff John Kelly.

Trump reportedly gives aides tasks and says they should not share them with Kelly, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Aides have in the past decided not to abide by the president's requests in order to not "run afoul" of Kelly, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that sometimes, friends of Trump will get a message to the president through first lady Melania Trump.

"If I don't want to wait 24 hours for a call from the president, getting to Melania is much easier," one person said.

A spokeswoman for the first lady pushed back, saying this is "more fake news."

"These are more anonymous sources peddling things that just aren't true. The first lady is focused on her own work in the East Wing," the spokeswoman said.

Kelly was hired as chief of staff earlier this year. In October, Kelly used his first public appearance before the news media to dismiss rumors of friction between himself and Trump.

Speaking to the White House press briefing room, he said in October he had no plans to leave his post, and acknowledged his new position is "the hardest job I've ever had."