- President Donald Trump has reportedly fumed over White House chief of staff John Kelly’s interview on Fox News last week, in which Kelly said Trump’s policy for the US-Mexico border wall had “evolved.”
- Trump is reportedly considering having Kelly replaced.
- First daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump is believed to be leading the search to find Kelly’s potential replacement.
Nearly a week after White House chief of staff John Kelly’s interview on Fox News, in which he said President Donald Trump’s proposed policies touted on the 2016 campaign trail were “not informed,” Trump is reportedly eyeing candidates to replace Kelly, according to Republican sources cited in a Vanity Fair report published Monday.
Although sources in the report said that Kelly was not on chopping block just yet, first daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump is said to be leading the search effort to find replacements.
“Ivanka is the most worried about it,” one person who was said to have spoken with Ivanka told Vanity Fair. “She’s trying to figure who replaces Kelly.”
One candidate proposed by Trump included GOP lobbyist David Urban, who helped navigate Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania, Vanity Fair reported.
Kelly, who replaced former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus in July, has sought to bring stability to a constantly embattled Oval Office that has seen record-high turnover in its first 12 months.
Once implanted in Trump’s circle, the former four-star Marine Corps general, earned the nickname “Church Lady,” for his attempts to moderate traffic in the West Wing and introduce a military-like discipline to a freewheeling Oval Office culture under Trump.
Kelly’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, particularly by his boss, according to multiple reports.
“The more Kelly plays up that he’s being the adult in the room – that it’s basically combat duty and he’s serving the country – that kind of thing drives Trump nuts,” a Republican familiar with the situation told Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman.
Trump, who is known to bristle at speculation that he’s being managed, is also believed to have expressed his displeasure with Kelly’s performance: “I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump said to a friend, according to a Republican source cited by Vanity Fair.
Meanwhile, one day after Kelly’s Fox News interview, Trump lavished praise on Kelly: “He is great, I think he is doing a great job,” Trump reportedly said. “I think General Kelly is doing a really great job. He is a very special guy.”