Kelly Goes Nuclear In Oval Office, Threatens To Quit: Report

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threatened to quit in late March after a blow up with Trump in a meeting in the Oval Office, reports Axios.

Kelly was reportedly heard muttering about quitting as he stormed back to his office after the March 28 argument - however sources say it wasn't related to the firing of former Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin which happened the same day. 

A senior administration official said that calling it a threat was "probably too strong, it was more venting frustration." Kelly often says he doesn't have to be there and didn't seek the job originally. -Axios

 Details (via Axios):

  • Kelly packed up some personal belongings, though I'm told that wasn't necessarily because he was walking out. 
  • He was fired up enough that colleagues got allies to call in to calm him down
  • At one point DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — perhaps the person in the administration he trusts most — came over to talk him off the ledge

Meanwhile, President Trump has reportedly been sidestepping Kelly of late - telling one confidant that he's "tired of being told no" by Kelly, and has instead opted to simply not include his Chief of Staff in various matters, according to CBS News, citing a person who was not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity. 

When President Donald Trump made a congratulatory phone call to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, White House chief of staff John Kelly wasn't on the line. When Mr. Trump tapped John Bolton to be his next national security adviser, Kelly wasn't in the room.

And when Mr. Trump spent a Mar-a-Lago weekend stewing over immigration and trade, Kelly wasn't in sight.

Kelly, once empowered to bring order to a turbulent West Wing, has receded from view, his clout diminished, his word less trusted by staff and his guidance less tolerated by an increasingly go-it-alone president. -CBS News

Kelly had made it a practice for months to listen in on many of the president's calls - particularly with world leaders. He also reportedly advocated against the hiring of John Bolton. 

"It's not tenable for Kelly to remain in this position so weakened," said Chris Whipple, author of "Gatekeepers," a history of modern White House chiefs of staff. "More than any of his predecessors, Donald Trump needs an empowered chief of staff to tell him what he does not want to hear. Trump wants to run the White House like the 26th floor of Trump Tower, and it's simply not going to work."

In December we reported that President Trump had been calling White House aides to his private residence in the evening where he would give them new assignments - asking them not to tell Kelly.

John has been successful at putting in place a stronger chain of command in the White House, requiring people to go through him to get to the Oval Office,” said Leon Panetta, a White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton who worked with Mr. Kelly, a four-star Marine general, in the Department of Defense. “The problem has always been whether or not the president is going to accept better discipline in the way he operates. He’s been less successful at that.” -WSJ

This is all just inevitable,” said one person close to Mr. Trump. “It’s not that Mr. Kelly is wrong—we all know he’s terribly competent.

Meanwhile, frustrated friends of the President have also reportedly gotten around Kelly's "do not call" list by calling Melania Trump in order to pass messages to her husband, according to two people familiar with the matter.

"[S]ince she arrived in the White House from New York in the summer, the first lady has taken on a more central role as a political adviser to the president."

 

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

Melania Trump's office issued a harsh rebuke to the Wall St. Journal, stating This is more fake news and 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.” 

Trump's Twitter feed is still off limits to Kelly, who's been rolling his eyes at questions over potential diplomatic quagmires such as the time he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "short and fat." Asked about the incident, Kelly shrugged it off - saying "Believe it or not - I don't follow the tweets," adding that he has advised White House staff to do the same. "We develop policy in the normal traditional staff way."

As one White House official told the WSJ, despite what appears to be an equilibrium between Kelly and Trump, they may never see eye to eye. “Kelly is too much of a general, and Trump is too much Trump,” adding that Trump continues to hold Mr. Kelly in high regard - often praising him during public appearances. 

Meanwhile in March, Kelly  was reportedly so furious over the way the press was covering Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's Tuesday firing that he shouted at the television on Air Force One as the President and his staff took off for California, according to Politico.

Accounts of Kelly's involvement in Tillerson's ouster have varied. While some reports describe Kelly only telling Tillerson to watch Trump's twitter account "over the next few days," others have said it was a much more direct conversation in which the Secretary of State was given a heads up. In that version, Tillerson implored Kelly to hold off on any decisions until he returned to the U.S. on Monday. 

Tillerson, meanwhile, would only say that he received a "lunchtime call" from Trump during the President's flight to California, and a separate call from Kelly - both after Trump's tweet. 

Kelly's consternation over the press coverage came on the heels of former Trump staff secretary Rob Porter's ouster in February after the Daily Mail published accounts from his two ex-wives accusing him of domestic abuse. Kelly took fire for not getting rid of Porter earler, after it emerged that the FBI had alerted the White House several times in 2017 that the allegations were holding up Porter's security clearance.  When the allegations against Porter began to fly, Kelly put out a statement calling Porter a "man of true integrity and honor," and "a trusted professional." 

With Trump playing musical chairs in the West Wing seemingly every other week, one has to wonder exactly how much longer Kelly will last.

Comments

IntercoursetheEU beepbop Sat, 04/07/2018 - 16:16 Permalink

Should have fired Kelly for making that now iconic hand gesture. No excuse for that. We didn't elect these leftover swamp rats anyway. 

From comments above, looks like the deep state fake troll farm office pals are punching in for the evening. Reaction time, clock stamps, go figure.  

In reply to by beepbop

DeadFred BaBaBouy Sat, 04/07/2018 - 21:56 Permalink

Trump plays the legacy media like a violin. You can bet all those 'sources close to the matter' are supplying them with the rumors of the day to keep them running in circles. Muh, chaos, muh, Russia, muh, distrust. Fools. These people are stupid. The boom is about to be lowered on them and they still keep thinking Mueller is about to indict him any moment now.

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Arnold Shillinlikeavillan Sun, 04/08/2018 - 06:08 Permalink

Axios and unnamed sources.
Axios and unnamed sources.
Axios and unnamed sources.
Axios and unnamed sources.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/when-to-trust-a-story-that-uses-un…

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/axios/

https://newrepublic.com/article/142441/axios-donald-trump-made
Axios and Donald Trump Are Made For Each Other
Mike Allen's scoop-generating newsletter is the perfect vehicle for the nonstop chatter coming from the White House.
BY ALEX SHEPHARD
May 2, 2017

Politico does the exact same thing.
Whoda node.

In reply to by Shillinlikeavillan

Klassenfeind shovelhead Sun, 04/08/2018 - 09:02 Permalink

Trump is an immature idiot who is unable to work with other people.

Newsflash for all the naive souls here who still (duh!) think that he is draining the Swamp: Trump just replaces anyone he fires with an even deeper Swamp creature. Want examples? Think of Mike Pompeo, think John Bolton, think Gina Haspel. (Pompeo's replacement at the CIA).

Trump is a big waffler and charlatan, and Americans are just dumb and naive enough to believe his "MAGA" bullshit.

In reply to by shovelhead

new game DeadFred Sun, 04/08/2018 - 07:16 Permalink

one must admit this is no way to run a business, much less a country.

the hand dealt any president is staked 1:100 against the deep state.

change must come from outside the gov.org.

and trump keeps selecting the same fuking fools that got us in this situation of demise towards

third world shit hole status whilst the elite corporate oligarchs steal the labor from well intended stupids.

these stupids just keep falling into the game of division. a distraction whilst being controlled.

laughable- as it is obvious as watching two two year old chilren fight in a sandbox...

In reply to by DeadFred

beepbop strannick Sat, 04/07/2018 - 16:58 Permalink

If Trump REALLY wanted out of Syria, the US would be out of Syria.

1. Congress DID NOT vote to send troops there. POTUS did that on his own.

2. POTUS did it. POTUS can undo it.

3. Pointing fingers at Kelly and the generals is the work of a coward POTUS who refuses to take responsibility for what he can get done.

4. Israhell OWNS POTUS's ass and wants American kids to die for them over there, so Trump bows down to his REAL master.

PS - Downvoting this means ONLY one thing: There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See- J. Heywood

In reply to by strannick

MarsInScorpio beepbop Sat, 04/07/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

beepflop:

As always, you are full of shit.

THIS president didn't send in the troops, as you explicitly state in your comment. Lying fucker . . . 

Congress hasn't voted to declare war since Pearl Harbor. So what? You expect them to suddenly change 77-years of copping out, asshole? And this is Trumps's fault, double asshole?

Potus - Obama - did it, triple asshole. Not Trump, endless asshole.

Potus can undo it - no shit, shithead. Trump is undoing it. You think he just waves his hand and the troops pack up and leave, shit for brains?

Your pointing fingers remark just adds more shit onto the pile of shit you already are. Trump isn't pointing any fingers, you lying bastard.

You fucking (((joomani))) lunatic. If it rains today, it's the (((joos))). If you fart in public, it's the (((joos))). You're totally insane.

Downvoting you makes me blind - no guilt trip there . . . GFY, then E S & D.

And take all your fake multiple personalities with you.

 

In reply to by beepbop

greven40 beepbop Sun, 04/08/2018 - 02:36 Permalink

They don't just "vote for war".  They must declare war, which requires they be able to prove the target is committing acts of war against the States.  They have not done this since WW2, and even then the causes for war were manufactured by the zionists who needed WW2 and their planned "Passion of the Jews" to usher in their idol, false "Israel".

In reply to by beepbop

vato poco MarsInScorpio Sat, 04/07/2018 - 18:22 Permalink

dude, you're arguing with a spammer. 

the spammer asshole doesn't really believe all the joooooz stuff - he couldn't care less. it's a proven hot-button on this board, so he goes with it. if it was daily kos, he'd be ragging on unicorns. 

don't touch the poop, as the great man said. downvote it, light it on fire, and move on

In reply to by MarsInScorpio

NiggaPleeze MarsInScorpio Sat, 04/07/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Amid all of your insults, it's hard to know what is your point.  The comment made was:  "2. POTUS did it. POTUS can undo it."  POTUS is an office, not a person.  Yes it was Obama that sent them in, point is, there's no congressional order to have them there, so Trump can take them out any moment he wants.

"Trump is undoing it. You think he just waves his hand and the troops pack up and leave."  Yeah, that's exactly how it works.  He's the boss, under the Constitution.  Only reason they're not leaving is that the generals changed his mind, based on some bullshit lies about "ISIS coming back".  ISIS wouldn't come back if US did a decent thing for a miraculous change and let the SAA - the official army of Syria - take over their positions as they leave.  In any event the US troops aren't the ones who held off ISIS, it was the Kurds in that region, and they won't be leaving.

So clearly the generals lied, and Trump went for it.  Trump lied to the American people.  He said he would bring the troops home and he's not doing it.  But it's only one lie of countless many.

In reply to by MarsInScorpio

BarkingCat MarsInScorpio Sat, 04/07/2018 - 21:08 Permalink

(S)he did not say Trump put the troops there.

An action of one president can be undone by another president. 

However, the troop levels did increase under Trump and he now owns Syria. 

Obama gets the credit for fucking it up but Trump owns everything that happens since he moved into the White House. 

He is at the top of the military chain of command; not some group of fucking generals in the Pentagon. 

In reply to by MarsInScorpio