Posted on January 22, 2018 at 2:33pm
President Donald Trump may be searching for his third chief of staff in one year after he was irked by John Kelly’s comments about his position on the wall, Vanity Fair reports.
Two Republicans who are in frequent contact with the White House say Trump has had conversations about selecting Kelly’s successor, Vanity Fair’s Gabe Sherman reports.
Sherman reports that Ivanka Trump is “playing a central role in the search.”
“Ivanka is the most worried about it. She’s trying to figure who replaces Kelly,” a source told Sherman.
Trump has reportedly floated the idea of bringing on David Urban, an experienced DC lobbyist who helped Trump win key states in the election.
More, via Vanity Fair:
Kelly’s departure likely isn’t imminent, sources said. “He wants to stay longer than Reince [Priebus],” an outside adviser said. Trump can also hardly afford another high-level staff departure, which would trigger days of negative news cycles. “This could be like [Jeff] Sessions,” one of the Republicans explained, referring to Trump’s festering frustration about not being able to replace his attorney general.
But the prospect of a Trump-Kelly rupture became more probable as news of their clashes over immigration leaked. Last week, Kelly reportedly infuriated Trump when he told Fox News that Trump had “evolved” on his position to build a southern border wall. Kelly further catalyzed Trump’s ire when he told Democratic lawmakers that Trump was “uninformed” when he made his campaign promise to build the wall. The next morning Trump rebutted his chief of staff with a tweet: “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”
According to the report, Kelly has also chafed other White House aides who have reportedly nicknamed the “Church lady,” in reference to an SNL skit, after he tried to bring more discipline to the White House.
Trump is reportedly more upset that Kelly “plays up that he’s being the adult in the room,” a Republican source told Sherman, adding, “That kind of thing drives Trump nuts.
“I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump reportedly told a friend in reference to Kelly.
“This guy thinks he’s running the show,” Trump reportedly said.
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