John Kelly describing part of Trump immigration plan: pic.twitter.com/AG6dV7JmsN
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) February 6, 2018
Honest to Murphy, I thought Kelly’s anti-immigrant comments yesterday would finally move some dials on the “General Kelly, Strong Man Upon Whom We Depend for Sanity” media meters. But NOOOO! What’s gonna drive Kelly out of the White House — should it happen — will be Javanka’s campaign to poison Daddy’s mind against him, because we’re living in Redneck Versailles World now…
West Wing staffers angry with Kelly for defending Porter https://t.co/froI2d2PW7
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) February 7, 2018
For weeks, Donald Trump has been souring on his Chief of Staff John Kelly because of his controlling ways and rising public profile. And now Kelly is in the midst of a bonafide crisis, one that exacerbates the president’s own #MeToo problems. On Tuesday, Kelly strongly defended White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter against disturbing allegations, first published in the Daily Mail, that he abused his ex-wives. Kelly’s decision to back Porter has left many people inside the White House angry, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. On Wednesday afternoon, Porter resigned. Axios reported Kelly wanted Porter to “stay and fight.”…
Kelly’s decision to go to bat for Porter deeply frustrated White House staffers, sources told me. He was supposed to be the West Wing’s resident grown-up, but staffers are increasingly questioning Kelly’s judgment, four Republicans close to the White House told me. “It’s beyond disbelief. Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him,” one former West Wing official said. Another Republican said: “How many times has Kelly put out a statement defending Trump?”
Sources said Kelly was so quick to defend Porter because the two have grown very close since Trump appointed Kelly chief of staff last summer. Porter, a Rhodes scholar, has helped Kelly instill discipline in the West Wing. Kelly has told people that Porter has a “calming effect” on White House operations. For instance, it’s Porter who screens all the information that gets to Trump’s desk. Porter also helped Kelly conduct a West Wing organizational study that provided Kelly with a cudgel to sideline Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, two former West Wing officials told me. The officials also said Kelly supported Porter even after the F.B.I. delayed granting Porter’s security clearance because they uncovered his alleged history of spousal abuse.
Until now, Porter has been a low-profile player, publicly absent from the West Wing dramas. But last week, he emerged when the Daily Mail reported he’s dating White House Communications Director Hope Hicks…
John Kelly, lecturing the media in October:
“When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred and looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases.”https://t.co/b1ukWBJPZ4
— Jonathan Darman (@jonathandarman) February 7, 2018
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) February 8, 2018
Senior aides to President Donald Trump knew for months about allegations of domestic abuse levied against top White House staffer Rob Porter by his ex-wives, even as Porter’s stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources told CNN on Wednesday…
A scramble ensued inside the West Wing to defend him when the claims became public this week, the sources said. That effort continues even after his resignation.
Trump himself first learned of the allegations this week, two sources familiar with the matter said. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday. His daughter Ivanka Trump, serving as a White House senior adviser, was also deeply disturbed by the allegations, particularly by photographs of the alleged abuse, the sources said…
By early fall, it was widely known among Trump’s top aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — both that Porter was facing troubles in obtaining the clearance and that his ex-wives claimed he had abused them. No action was taken to remove him from the staff.
Instead, Kelly and others oversaw an elevation in Porter’s standing. He was one of a handful of aides who helped draft last week’s State of the Union address. He traveled instead of Kelly to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. And he was one of a select group of aides who shook Chinese President Xi Jinping’s hand during a state visit to Beijing in November…
Kelly, who has relied on Porter to execute a strict system of information control to the President, insisted that he’d be able to weather the allegations and remain in his job, according to a White House official. But Porter resigned anyway, over Kelly’s objections. Kelly has long insisted that Porter stay in his job, even as he considered approaches from the private sector, including from Uber, according to one administration source…
Of course, we’re told, the King didn’t know about these ‘troubling allegations’ — in Versailles World, the King never knows! (To be fair, Trump ‘not knowing’ is usually a pretty safe bet… )
The fact that after these revelations, Porter helped write the State of the Union address– well, that says more about the state of the union than a speech ever could https://t.co/Bo0eREWekV
— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) February 8, 2018
Trump is continuing to tell people he is frustrated with Kelly, while folks in White House don't believe he'll ever make a change, per three people close to Trump.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 7, 2018
Let me know when you see that, "We misjudged John Kelly" column from a Washington journalist. Maybe it ran and I missed it.
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 8, 2018
The big takeaway from year one is that the key people who joined Trump, who took top jobs, were all like him. The notion that there were people taking the job out of a sense of service or advancement was wrong. They have all showed themselves to be fundamentally like him.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 6, 2018
2/ In some cases, it is in ideology. In other cases it’s in a more general mindset and character type. But everyone of them is like him. Which frankly makes perfect sense. Kelly is the best example.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 6, 2018
So this reminds me: what's the state of Jared Kushner's security clearance? https://t.co/hFdJukL4RU
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) February 8, 2018