We all know that no one puts Donald Trump in a corner, unless said corner is filled with soggy fried chicken in a white bucket that he can wear as a hat once he’s finished eating, and prerolled Forbes magazines for naughty time.
So it looks like the love affair between White House chief of staff John Kelly and Trump might be coming to an end. According to a scathing bit of news from Vanity Fair, not only is Kelly’s time coming to an end, but Ivanka is already looking for his replacement.
Here’s how Vanity Fair breaks it down:
Two prominent Republicans in frequent contact with the White House told me that Trump has discussed choosing Kelly’s successor in recent days, asking a close friend what he thought about David Urban, a veteran Washington lobbyist and political operative who helped engineer Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania. Ivanka is also playing a central role in the search, quietly field-testing ideas with people. “Ivanka is the most worried about it. She’s trying to figure who replaces Kelly,” a person who’s spoken with her said.
According to the magazine, the only reason Kelly hasn’t been tossed out of the White House like Uncle Phil used to do Jazzy Jeff is that Trump knows that firing another senior staff member would do nothing but bring more trouble to his wobbly tenure.
Sources told Vanity Fair that Kelly doesn’t want to be in the White House anymore and is only holding on to stay longer than Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff.
The seam started to split between Kelly and Trump after Kelly did an interview noting that the president’s position had evolved since campaigning for office. The president was reportedly furious that Kelly would leak that truth on national television, since anyone with working ears and a decent set of eyes knows that his positions have moved more than an air hockey puck. Shortly after Kelly’s interview, Trump took to Twitter, as he’s been known to do, tweeting: “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”
But who didn’t see all of this coming? In fact, many people were surprised that Kelly, a four-star Marine general, who was highly respected, would agree to work with a president who’s been a hot button and arguably on the wrong side of history since running for office.
Kelly has been credited with streamlining who has access to the president and was instrumental in kicking hangers-on Omarosa Manigault Newman and Steve Bannon out of the White House. But Trump can’t stand it when someone else is seen as the adult to his petulant-child antics, so of course this was never going to work out.
“The more Kelly plays up that he’s being the adult in the room—that it’s basically combat duty and he’s serving the country—that kind of thing drives Trump nuts,” a Republican close to the White House told Vanity Fair.
In recent days, Trump has fumed to friends that Kelly acts like he’s running the government while Trump tweets and watches television.
Also, Trump reportedly told one friend: “I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” referring to Kelly, Vanity Fair reports.
Of course, the White House will tell you that this is more fake news and that there’s nothing wrong between Kelly and Trump. In fact, that’s exactly what the White House did.
A White House official told Vanity Fair: “It’s categorically false that Trump is unhappy with Kelly. He’s only ever referred to him as the general, tough, can be rough, and commands respect.”
At this point, I don’t believe anything that comes out of the White House. If they were a pair of pants, they’d be on fire. If they were a journalist, they’d be BuzzFeed Benny. If they were a black woman, they’d be Rachel Dolezal.
So, basically, it’s just a matter of time until Kelly announces that he’s leaving the White House for a job in the mainstream, where he can better serve the Trump administration—which is starting to be the company line.
Read more at Vanity Fair.