Friday, February 09, 2018


Even though, as Axios's Jonathan Swan reports, the failings of chief of staff John Kelly are now regarded as a full-blown crisis in the White House....
The Rob Porter crisis has become a John Kelly crisis, and it has now totally engulfed the West Wing....

Kelly still has not adequately answered when he became aware of the horrific allegations against Porter....

The official White House line — that Kelly only became “fully aware” of the domestic assault allegations when the Daily Mail story broke — doesn’t pass the smell test.
... and even though Trump doesn't like Kelly...
The only thing Trump resents more than being handled by staff is when an aide tells the world they’re educating Trump about an issue he thinks he has mastered. Kelly managed to commit both sins in a recent interview with Fox’s Bret Baier, in which he said Trump’s views on immigration had evolved since the campaign, partly under Kelly’s tutelage.
... and even though Kelly has had a series of gaffes...
* Falsely claiming that Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson had tried to take credit for securing the funding for an FBI building.

* Calling Confederate general Robert E. Lee “honorable” and blaming the Civil War on a lack of compromise.

* Describing illegal immigrants who didn’t apply for DACA as “too lazy to get off their asses.”
... Swan believes Trump won't fire him:
What we're hearing: It's not surprising that Trump would make noises about getting rid of Kelly. But sources close to the president don’t believe he has it in him to actually pull the trigger.

* Yes, Kelly frustrates Trump. Yes, Trump complains about him. Yes, the two have never developed the personal chemistry — full of off-color jokes and nicknames like Hopey (Hope Hicks) and Reincey (Reince Priebus) — that Trump has formed with some of his other advisers....

[But] “Trump is not going to fire him,” [a] source close to the president said. “And does Trump have the stomach to do what he normally does when he’s fed up with them? He usually makes their lives miserable, publicly humiliates them. But now he’s up against somebody who doesn’t care and would happily leave.”
Trump is a pathetic weakling. He's the most powerful person in the world -- at least based on his job title -- yet he can't bring himself to dismiss a subordinate who's exercised terrible judgment in his job and has brought shame on the White House. Trump won't tell Kelly he's fired because he's afraid Kelly won't talk him out of it.

Also, who's going to take the job if Kelly leaves? Trump and his team don't seem to have any good ideas for a replacement. The New York Times says Trump has been complaining about Kelly to Reince Priebus, who was forced out of the job last year in favor of Kelly. Would Trump really hire Priebus back? It's possible. But Priebus wasn't good at the job and brought no relevant experience to it.

(Another possibility mentioned in the same Times article: Mick Mulvaney, who's already doing two jobs for Trump. Would he quit them or would he do three jobs?)

Nobody with appropriate skills wants to work in Trump's White House, and Trump, however much he may regard himself as a "disrupter" who's rewriting the rules of how Washington works, doesn't have any clever ideas about who can do key jobs without what traditionalists regard as appropriate skills. He just reaches out to anyone who seems to be willing and vaguely qualified -- or he keeps incompetents in place because firing people scares him.

What a pathetic person he is.

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