Ding, dong, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s gone, and Trump loyalists are pleased. For months now, Kelly has been a thorn in MAGA’s side. He’s reportedly clashed with the President’s agenda, and perhaps most importantly, fallen foul of Melania Trump, who is an increasingly powerful force in the administration.
Now, he’ll have left the White House by the end of the year, and the President is expected to pick somebody who will focus on his re-election campaign for 2020.
On Thursday, at All Purpose Pizza in DC, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told me, ‘I am 100 percent certain John Kelly will not be the Chief of Staff when Donald Trump is re-elected as President of the United States.’ But people have been saying Kelly was about to go for months now, I said, what made him so sure. ‘I dunno,’ he said, before adding knowingly, ‘But I think we’ll know pretty soon.’ How right he was. ‘It’s as if I knew,’ he jokes, still knowingly. ‘This is the most important step to ensure Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020.’ He said he expected more key staff changes would follow. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is known to have been very close to General Kelly, so some insiders believe she could be next. The MAGA revolution lives on.
‘Kelly is a truly great General, and a great Marine. But he was hired to make the White House function, not for his MAGA credentials,’ said Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to the President. He said the importance of the move totally depended on who replaced him. ‘The next C-o-S must be loyal to MAGA; incredibly effective AND know how the Hill and DC work in reality.’
The reports are that it will be 36-year-old Nick Ayers, currently Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff, is widely tipped to be the successor. He’s thought to be more loyal to the Trumpist cause. Melania likes him, anyway, though some White House aides have apparently threatened to resign if Ayers gets the job. Expect some some serious briefing wars if he he does.