The thresher that is the Trump White House grinds ceaselessly on, shredding opportunist after opportunist into finely diced white nationalist meat before tossing them into the trash. This administration’s unprecedented turnover rate has already seen Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon chewed up and spat out in unceremonious fashion.
Now, another prominent name could be added to this ignominious list: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Vanity Fair reports that Trump has already begun to discuss possible replacements for Kelly, who was originally touted as a moderating, organizing force in an infamously chaotic administration, but who turned out to be not only another yes man but a potent force for racist animus and anti-immigration fervor.
This is a man who defended the honor of Robert E. Lee, the traitor who facilitated the butchering of hundreds of thousands of Americans on behalf of a confederacy fighting to defend the institution of slavery.
Of course, given Trump’s own vile worldview, it’s not Kelly’s detestable opinions that have placed Kelly in the president’s crosshairs, but rather his public disagreements with his boss. Last week, Kelly said that the president had changed his opinions on the Mexican border wall, a statement which Trump rushed to refute. It’s the latest tiff in a deteriorating relationship. Kelly is seen as the person keeping the White House together, and Trump resents him for it.
“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,” one Republican told Vanity Fair.
The president previously bristled at the fact that Steve Bannon was portrayed in the media as his puppetmaster, as the power behind the throne who affecting his own policy goals through the empty vessel of Trump himself. Now, it appears Trump’s insecurity has moved on to Kelly.
“I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump said of Kelly, according to a Republican.
Reportedly, Ivanka — that unqualified beneficiary of rank nepotism — is playing a part in the search for a new Chief of Staff. One source told Vanity Fair that she is worried about finding a suitable replacement. The fact that she is spearheading efforts, despite the fact that she has no government or policy experience, shows how quickly the Trump White House has devolved into a complete amateur hour.
It seems likely that Kelly will keep his job for at least a while longer, as another high-profile firing would unleash another round of negative media coverage, and reinforce the idea that President Trump is utterly incompetent and incapable of assembling a functioning government. Which he is.