So the rumors for this one have been floating around for some time. We all knew it wasn’t a matter of “if” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly would bail on the Trump administration, but “when” he would leave.
When the ship is taking on water and its total submersion into the murky depths seems imminent, then I guess there’s no better time.
President Trump finally announced Kelly’s departure from the White House on Saturday:
“John Kelly will be leaving, retiring. I don’t know if I should say ‘retiring,’” Trump said on the South Lawn before leaving for Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy football game. “But he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year.”
Trump added that he “appreciate[s] his service very much.”
This makes the second chief of staff gone in just under 2 years in office for Trump.
With that in mind, let me just plop this here:
3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2012
Ok. Carrying on…
After spending the first six months of the Trump administration as punching bag, President Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, was publicly humiliated and forced out.
The earliest days of the Trump administration were fraught with leaks of “palace intrigue,” with the president running the White House like he ran his reality TV show, pitting players against each other for his amusement.
You have to imagine that every day was figuratively [though, just barely] like stepping into the MMA octagon.
Priebus was one of many high profile turnovers, and John Kelly, a retired United States Marine Corps general, was brought in to try and whip the chaotic White House into shape.
He began by ousting some of the more poisonous influences within the administration.
One such ouster was Anthony Scaramucci, who was named as incoming communications director for Trump on July 21, but within ten days, before he even officially took over the position, had felt John Kelly’s swift boot.Omarosa Manigault-Newman and Steve Bannon were also excused by Kelly.
The former general trimmed the fat and attempted to create barriers to who could and could not see the president, feeling that the open door policy to the Oval Office many felt entitled to was a distraction.
It worked for a while, as evidenced by the slowed (but not completely stopped) White House leaks.
Kelly had the right idea, but he was one man, working uphill against a mountain of stupid.
Donald Trump did not want to be told what to do. He had a sea of intellectually deficient sycophants, spiritually corrupt clingers, and mercenary “Yes men” all telling him his more destructive and ill-advised impulses were A-OK.
Let Trump be Trump.
It got to the point that some were saying Kelly had thrown his hands up and was suggesting to let Trump do his own thing, right up unto the point where he found himself impeached.
It’s not as if John Kelly was the sole voice of reason in Trump’s White House. He had his own screw ups to concern himself with.
One such screw up was the statement in support of Rob Porter, now-former White House staff secretary – and main squeeze of Hope Hicks, the now-former comms director.
Hicks wrote a statement of support for Porter, which Kelly read without question, after two former wives and a former girlfriend all emerged with stories of abuse against Porter.
I guess no one escapes unscathed from the Trumpian atmosphere.
That lapse in judgment aside, most agree that Kelly was a positive force in an otherwise corrupted environment.
The rumors about his replacement are focused on Nick Ayers, currently serving as the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.
Ayers is a 36-year old Republican operative, but the rumors of his impending promotion are not being met with overwhelming support among Trump’s supporters.
This is one of those rumors we’ll have to take the wait and see approach to, but for now, we can call another rumor confirmed.
Interestingly enough (and you can infer anything you want from this – I know I have), this news comes a day after news broke that Kelly had spoken with special counsel, regarding the ongoing Russia probe.
John Kelly is making his escape. I expect the interviews and potential book deal to come to be a best-seller.