Gage Skidmore / Flickr sean hannity...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

John Kelly knew going in that the White House was going to be a difficult assignment but even he had no idea that he’d be sitting at the UN last month listening to Trump call Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” thereby heightening tensions with an unpredictable nuclear foe in the midst of increasing his arsenal.

Kelly himself has caused heightened tensions in the White House. When Kelly took over he reduced access to Trump to everyone, family included. One “family” member who apparently took that as the last straw was Trump’s bodyguard and his director of security, Keith Schiller. Schiller was already dissatisfied at having his pay cut in half by coming to work for Trump at the White House. In any event, Schiller was Trump’s chief interpreter and soother of feelings, second only to Ivanka, and something happened on September 19, besides the Rocket Man debacle at the UN, because Schiller abruptly left the next morning. That put Kelly officially in charge as Trump’s de facto babysitter. L.A. Times:

[Kelly is] often thwarted by one man: Trump.

The president by many accounts has bristled at the restrictions and continues — usually alone on mornings, nights and weekends — to act on his own gut sense, using his own lines to contact allies outside the White House and, using Twitter, to reach those millions of supporters he calls “my people.” [,,,]

Those are, however, the type of comments [Bob Corker’s interview with NYT] Trump sees over and over on cable news outside business hours, when he has nothing official on his schedule to prevent him from calling friends or venting on Twitter. Associates say it is essential to reduce such down time.

“You’ve got to give him suggestions because you’ve got to fill the vacuum,” said Barry Bennett, a former campaign advisor.

Kelly has sought to limit Trump’s free time and to prevent outsiders from bringing him unfiltered and sometimes inaccurate information that can rile him up.

So Kelly tries to keep the toddler occupied and away from outsiders that can upset him. Sounds like good child care so far. It doesn’t seem to be working, but it sounds good. Besides twitter and diet coke, Trump has another standby anodyne, one he suggested to the nation during the election, “Call Sean Hannity” and he does just that.

“The president has started to call people more on the weekends, from the cellphone, which he didn’t used to do,” [the source says] Trump often calls Hannity after the host’s nightly show.

Trump has reportedly begun to place more private phone calls as tensions rise with chief of staff John Kelly, who has attempted to bring order to Trump’s White House…. “Every time it says on MSNBC or CNN, which you know he watches, ‘This is the adult. … Thank God they stopped him,’ it all gets to him,” the source said.

The White House disputed the report that Hannity advises Trump, telling the Times that Trump “always had a robust list of outside advisers in business and politics because he is open minded and ultimately wants to do the right thing for the country.”

Be that as it may, the outside adviser with a TV show on Fox is Sean Hannity and that’s whose show Donald Trump is going to be on tonight. A lot of ears will be burning in Washington, and nobody is cringing more than John Kelly right now, it would be reasonable to assume.

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