Kelly: Trump doesn’t ask ‘how other presidents did this’

Kelly: Trump doesn’t ask ‘how other presidents did this’
© Getty Images

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE remains “fairly unconventional” after a year in office, noting he rarely asks how other presidents have made decisions in the past.

“The norms and conventions are exactly what he ran against and, in his view, are why we’re in the fix we’re in. He doesn’t intentionally make decisions that are opposite, say, of what a previous president would make. He’s got a view of what’s better for America,” Kelly told The New York Times.

Trump has made a number of decisions to reverse regulations, legislation and deals put into place by former President Obama, which many experts see as an intentional strategy to undermine the previous administration. 

Trump has frequently compared himself to past presidential administrations when touting his achievements, often saying he has done more than any other president.

He tweeted earlier this week that his approval rating was similar to Obama's at this point in his predecessor's first year in office.

He also claimed earlier this week that he broke former President Truman's record for signing legislation — a claim Politifact ranked "false" after finding Trump had signed the lowest number of first-year bills out of any post-World War II president.

Kelly, a retired four-star general, was hired as chief of staff in July to replace Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusFauci says he has not talked to Biden: He doesn't want to 'put me in a compromised position' Trump adviser says president will give Biden 'a little bit more room to explain himself' at next debate Priebus expecting Trump win in election that will go 'down to the wire' MORE and reportedly bring discipline and order to the White House. 


Since Kelly was brought on, there have been multiple high-level departures in the West Wing, including former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanTrump administration sought to sue Omarosa after she announced tell-all book: report Juan Williams: Too many men of color got conned by Trump White House aide Ja'Ron Smith leaves post MORE, who reportedly clashed with Kelly.

Kelly acknowledged in his interview with The New York Times that Trump is “fairly unconventional,” but said the president is “fully briefed” on the positives and negatives surrounding different issues.

Kelly told the newspaper that he hasn’t tried to control the president, but instead has tried to control the information he sees. 

“I’m not put on earth to control him. But I have been put on earth to make this staff work better and make sure this president, whether you voted for him or not, is fully informed before he makes a decision. And I think we achieved that,” Kelly said.

— Updated 10:51 a.m.