Wochit News / YouTube White House Trump Has  Absolute...
Wochit News / YouTube

John Kelly, brought on as chief of staff to make the White House run smoothly and professionally, is at the center of one of its messiest scandals yet. Kelly is in damage-control mode on his own reputation after publicly standing by then-staff secretary Rob Porter as Porter’s ex-wives went public with his history of abuse, but it’s not clear the damage control is working.

After the White House distributed a glowing statement about Porter on Wednesday and said he had resigned on his own that day, Kelly went on to push out the claim that he had demanded Porter’s resignation on Tuesday night. Here’s how Axios’ Jonathan Swan describes that damage control effort:

This is crazy. Even in a White House that’s famous for chaos, I’ve never seen anything like this. […] Either the White House spokespeople or the president’s chief of staff is lying. It’s a stunning display of incompetence that five days after the initial story broke, they still can’t get their stories straight.

So Kelly is failing to convince most outsiders who are paying any attention, but what about the most meaningful audience of one?

“I spoke to the president last night,” Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to Mr. Trump, told Jake Tapper on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I told him I would be with you today. And he said, ‘Please tell Jake that I have full faith in Chief of Staff John Kelly and that I’m not actively searching for replacements.’ He said: ‘I saw that all over the news today. I have faith in him.’”

Mr. Kelly privately told colleagues at the White House on Friday that he was willing to resign over his handling of Mr. Porter’s case if Mr. Trump desired, but presidential aides said no resignation was formally offered or drafted. If not “actively” searching, Mr. Trump has informally sounded out associates about possible replacements, including Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican majority leader.

Yeah, that “actively” speaks a lot more loudly than Donald Trump’s faith in anything or anyone. Kelly’s on thin ice, in other words, even if he has not yet resigned or been replaced.


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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This administration is turning out to be one “yuge” clusterfuck. But….. as Donnie John promised us before the elections, he will hire only the “best”.

  2. That drain is a small hole… only one at time can fit
    through.. needs a good plunger to get moving….one ‘fat head’ makes it through it should clear the way for the others.
    They really should check out all those supporters of Trump.. I really have reservations if some are even from this planet.

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