Donald Trump has a new chief of staff: Who is John Kelly?

30 July, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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President Donald Trump tweeted that Ret. Gen. John Kelly is the new White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus in the role. Panetta also worked with Kelly while defense secretary under President Barack Obama.

Months ago, Priebus' deputy, Katie Walsh - a former RNC chief of staff, who was accused of being a leaker by rivals inside the White House - left to work on a PAC supporting Trump.

"It's Trump's White House, not Kelly's", one person close to the White House observed, noting that Trump has so many aides and family members with a direct line that it presents a almost impossible task for the person responsible for wrangling the flow of information. He and two other senior Trump aides, Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino, got into a van in Trump's motorcade at Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryalnd shortly before Trump's tweet, then Miller and Scavino got out and entered a different vehicle.

The sources spoke anonymously to avoid damaging their relationships with the administration.

Kelly is the highest-ranking officer to lose a child in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. A big piece of that will be addressing leaks and the president's portrayal in the media. His appointment fuelled concerns about an increase in military influence in the Trump White House.

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On Thursday, Ryan had praised Priebus for doing "a fantastic job" as White House chief of staff.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said she did not think Priebus' exit would affect the White House's relationship with the Republican Party.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is a friend of Priebus' and released a statement following Trump's announcement.

Kelly even defended efforts by top White House advisor Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, to create secret back-channel communications with Russian Federation as a "good thing". "He leads", the person said.

Announcing the switch via Twitter, Trump called retired Marine Corps general Kelly a "great American".

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"He's a commander and a leader of men", one Trump ally said. "I said, 'you can take the hand away, ' okay?" "I think people will respect that pecking order and protocols".

Kelly had only been retired from the military eight months when Trump tapped him after last November's election to run his Department of Homeland Security, a position that put Kelly in charge of the administration's policies on issues including immigration, cybersecurity, countering domestic terrorism and aviation security.

At the National Security Council, there has been a leadership struggle since Michael Flynn resigned in the face of pressure over undisclosed contacts with Russian Federation.

Flynn's replacement H.R. McMaster, also an Army lieutenant general, has recently found himself in conflict with other senior White House officials, as well as Cabinet members and the President himself, over such things as the military strategy in Afghanistan. "I've been obviously talking to the President for a few days about this. the President was great". Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the former Republican National Committee chairman said he had "no reaction" to the new communications director's labeling him a "f*cking paranoid schizophrenic" and "paranoiac" in a rather candid interview with The New Yorker. "If I was General Kelly, I would be incredibly concerned".

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