Donald Trump and John Kelly are already at each other’s throats behind the scenes


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Earlier this week came the news that Donald Trump’s new White House Chief of Staff, retired General John Kelly, is already being resented so thoroughly by the rest of the staff that they’ve taken to calling him the “church lady” behind his back. Now comes word that it’s not just Trump’s staff who resents Kelly, it’s Trump himself – and that the two are already at each other’s throats behind the scenes.

First there was word from the Washington Post about the “church lady” debacle, in which Trump’s staffers are angry at General Kelly for forcing them to knock off their most brazen White House antics, and that Trump himself is growing weary of Kelly (link). Now comes word from the New York Times that Trump and Kelly have just about had it with each other (link). After Trump angrily lashed out at Kelly this week, Kelly responded by drawing the line and saying he won’t allow it to happen again. This doesn’t come as a surprise.

After I was able to correctly predict the timeframes for the departures of Anthony Scaramucci, Steve Bannon, and Sebastian Gorka, some Palmer Report readers asked me who might be the next to go. I responded by saying to keep an eye on John Kelly, which raised some eyebrows. Sure, he’s quickly assumed all the juice in the White House power structure, and he’s managed to get rid of everyone standing in his way. But that’s been part of the problem.

General Kelly has essentially taken away all of Donald Trump’s favorite toys, from his wackiest advisers to his formerly steady diet of alt-crazy news articles. Trump is ruefully submitting to these shackles for now, because he understands that his presidency is failing and he needs a nanny. But it was always a matter of time before Trump’s ego and resentment outweighed any good that listening to Kelly might have been doing for him. The trouble is this: if Trump now fires Kelly, there will be almost no one left.

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