Kelly losing favor of White House staff: report
Chief of staff John Kelly has lost his “credibility and his influence” within the White House, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Kelly was not fully consulted on recent key personnel decisions and has lost the support of some of the staff while angering first lady Melania Trump by dismissing the president’s aide, Johnny McEntee, White House sources told the Post.
“When you lose that power,” former President Clinton’s chief of staff Leon Panetta told the Post “you become a virtual White House intern, being told where to go and what to do.”
Sources also told The Hill earlier this week that Kelly’s influence with the president is fading.
A source within President Trump’s orbit told The Hill, “John, I think, is frustrated because his influence has been diminished and he cannot control what the president does.”
Kelly reportedly got angry with the president during an Oval Office meeting last month and threatened to resign.
“I’m out of here, guys,” Kelly reportedly said.
Kelly’s threat to quit came during a meeting on the day Trump fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.
However, a senior administration official told the Post that Kelly was just venting anger and saying he was leaving work early. Another official told Axios, which also reported on Kelly’s comment, that Kelly’s anger was not related to Shulkin’s dismissal.
Sources told the Post that Trump talks to Kelly more than any other official and still listens to Kelly on national security issues and immigration.
Kelly’s loss of influence stems from his recent blunders in the handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter and Trump’s decision to fire national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the Post reported.