A new report from CNN just revealed that a feud is heating up between White House chief of staff John Kelly and First Daughter of indeterminate White House role, Ivanka Trump.
Sources close to Kelly have leaked that he believes Ivanka is “playing government,” and has dubbed her so-called child tax credit as “a pet project.” Others in the White House allegedly refer to her as the “Princess Royal.”
The discord between the chief of staff and First Daughter has intensified in light of Ivanka’s representing the White House during the Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, less than an hour’s drive from the border with North Korea, a country with which Daddy Trump has engaged in a game of nuclear chicken.
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As one source close to Kelly put it, “This isn’t like going to Italy. The stakes are far higher and more complex.”
Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump worsened matters yesterday in an interview with NBC, when she demonstrated her willingness to play “daughter” and “Trump aide” as it suits her. She told journalist Peter Alexander that it was “inappropriate” of him to ask a “daughter” if she believes the 19 women and counting who have accused her father of the sexual assault of which he himself has boasted — even though she has said she took on her role in the administration to advocate for women’s issues.
Kelly has had enough of Ivanka having her cake and eating it, too.
Neither Donald’s favorite child nor her husband, Jared Kushner, has passed the FBI background check required to gain permanent security clearance. Yet they have had frequent access to the highest-level intelligence, including the president’s daily briefing.
Yesterday was the deadline Kelly had announced as the time by when he would remove security clearances for the 130 White House officials who had not passed their FBI background checks to gain permanent security clearance, including Ivanka and Jared, as well as White House counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
However, Kelly faces a tough bind, as Trump is far more likely to fire the former general than he is to remove the security clearances of his daughter and son-in-law — which would effectively relieve them of their White House roles.
Even though Trump said last week that it was “up to” Kelly to decide what to do about Kushner’s security clearance, the chief of staff’s silence thereon as the deadline passes suggests he does not want to rock the boat.
One way or the other, however, the feud will come to a head under increasing scrutiny of the national security risks posed by the undisciplined, incompetent, and downright criminal, if not treasonous, Trump administration.
With Special Prosecutor Mueller’s Russia investigation zeroing in on Trump, Kushner, and possibly Ivanka — in the end, John Kelly may prove the only top White House official standing outside of prison walls.
UPDATE: Moments after this article was published, Jared Kushner lost his top-secret White House security clearance.