Tag Archives: WH chief of staff

WH press flack leaves No. 2 most thankless job in D.C.

Stephanie Grisham no longer is the White House press secretary.

As if she ever made her presence even remotely known in that capacity. She’s gone to work as head of the first lady’s staff. Fine. See ya, Ms. Grisham.

It’s my considered opinion that the White House press flack’s job ranks a close second to the No. 1 most thankless job in Washington, that of White House chief of staff.

I mean, really. Donald Trump cannot be controlled, or guided, or counseled to say and do the right thing. Mark Meadows is now the White House chief of staff, replacing the former acting COS, Mick Mulvaney who, to the best of my knowledge, has gone into hiding in private life. Mulvaney took the acting job after Trump canned he former chief of staff, John Kelly, who took over from Reince Priebus, whom Trump had fired in an earlier staff purge.

Meadows will have his hands full, although he’s demonstrated great loyalty to Trump based on his time serving in the House of Representatives and defending Trump through various crises of confidence, competence and conspiracy.

Now it’s Grisham who’s gone.

She didn’t conduct a single White House press briefing during her time as presidential flack. As ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl noted this morning, she likely never set foot in the White House press briefing room.

So, it’s fair to ask: What the hell was she doing? And more to the point, what in the world are we taxpayers — you and I — paying for?

Trump is now mired up to his chins in the coronavirus pandemic. He needs a spokesman or woman who can “clarify” his misstatements and outright lies. Good luck finding anyone with an ounce of integrity to fill that post, Mr. President.


Now it’s Mick Mulvaney who’s on the Trump Bubble

This is hardly a flash, but it looks for all the world as if “acting” White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is heading for the exit.

It turns out that Donald Trump chose to keep his chief of staff in the dark prior to the launching of the most important military mission of his presidency: the killing of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mulvaney reportedly as at home in South Carolina when Trump tweeted the message: “Something very big has just happened.” Mulvaney then was brought up to speed as the mission was commencing.

What is so odd and frightening about this revelation is that White House chiefs of staff normally are part of the national security team that meets to discuss such operations prior to their being launched. Not so with Mulvaney.

Andy Card, chief of staff for President Bush 43, said he is “baffled” by Mulvaney being left out of the planning of such an event.

Mulvaney’s “acting” status has been in place since he took the job after John Kelly departed at the start of this year. Then he held that disastrous White House press briefing a couple of weeks ago in which he admitted that Trump asked for a political favor from the head of a foreign government, telling the media and others to “get over it.” 

So, the guy who once ran the Office of Management Budget only to step into the snake pit known as the White House is likely on his way out. Just think that this is payback for the guy who famously said when he took the White House job that he intended merely to “let Trump be Trump.”

Chaos, anyone?

John Kelly turns on Trump? Shocking! Just shocking!

John Kelly has served his country with honor, courage and distinction.

Now the former White House chief of staff is telling us that many of Donald J. Trump’s policies are wrong for the country.

The wall along our southern border? Kelly, the retired four-star Marine Corps general and combat veteran, says now that the wall is a non-starter. Donald Trump’s national emergency doesn’t exist along our southern border.

“Waste of money”

He said building a wall “from sea to shining sea” is a “waste of money.” Gee, do you think?

He said of all the jobs he has held, the chief of staff gig was the worst among them. Kelly also said that he wasn’t working for Trump but was seeking to serve the country.

Gen. Kelly also declared that had Hillary Rodham Clinton won the 2016 election he would have worked in her White House.

He kept quiet during his time as chief of staff. He also didn’t argue out loud over the wall issue when he served as homeland security secretary before moving into the chief of staff job.

That tells me he is a good Marine . . . always faithful, if you will.

He is now free to speak his mind and from his heart.

WH chief of staff gets a dose of Trump

Donald Trump selected Mick Mulvaney to be the acting White House chief of staff to succeed John Kelly, who resigned far ahead of his announced timetable.

Mulvaney, who runs the Office of Management and Budget in his real day job, said upon his hiring that he planned to “let Trump be Trump.” He had no intention, or so he implied, of reeling in the president while trying to prevent him from some of his more impulsive behavior.

Well, it’s being reported that Mulvaney got a serious dose of the real Donald Trump during a White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders. The group met ostensibly to find a way to reopen the government, which has been shut down partially for three weeks.

Trump reportedly dressed Mulvaney down in front of those congressional leaders, telling him to “Stop, stop, just stop. What are you doing? You’re f***ing it all up, MIck.”

There you go. That’s Trump being Trump, per the White House chief of staff’s stated desire. Is this what he really intended when he took the job on an “acting” basis? I think not.

Don’t misconstrue me here. I don’t feel sorry for Mulvaney. He’s a grownup who likely knew about the loony bin into which he was entering when he agreed to run the White House staff.

Still, what I find astounding is that the president of the United States would (allegedly) treat the chief of staff in that fashion in front of a roomful of politicians and other staffers. Then again, given the president’s lack of decorum or dignity at any level, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at all!

The White House chief of staff once was considered the plum of plum jobs in D.C. No longer. Not for as long as Donald Trump is president of the United States. He’s already burned through two chiefs of staff, Kelly and before him Reince Priebus. Kelly was brought in to bring a sense of order after Priebus was canned; indeed, Priebus couldn’t control the traffic in the Oval Office, just inflaming the chaos that dictates the flow within the White House.

Now we have Mulvaney perched in the White House hot seat. I’ve thought all along that an “acting” chief of staff cannot sustain himself over any length of time. I mean, Mulvaney already has a full-time gig at OMB, which is a huge job all by itself.

So now he gets pounded and pilloried by the president while the government remains shut down.

Great work if you can get it, right, Mick?

What a shocker! Kelly says Trump ‘not up to job’?

Imagine my total non-surprise!

Departing White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly told aides many times that Donald Trump “isn’t up to the job” of president of the United States.

Wow! Who would’ve thought that? Shocking, I tell ya! Simply shocking!

The New York Times is reporting that Kelly, who’s leaving the Trump administration later this week, called the chief of staff post the “worst job in the world.” That’s really saying something, given that the retired Marine Corps four-star general saw more than his share of combat defending this country.

I wanted Kelly to succeed when he took over from Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff; he had served previously as homeland security secretary. Trump canned Priebus and called Kelly over from DHS to rein in a White House staff that had spiraled out of control.

Kelly enjoyed some initial success. He got rid of Steve Bannon, the former Brietbart News exec who served as a senior policy guru. He canned Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as White House communications director.

But then . . .

Trump just couldn’t be corralled. Kelly couldn’t manage the president. He couldn’t persuade him to follow the normal rules of procedure.

There is far more than a hint of believability in what the New York Times is reporting. Perhaps that explains why Kelly, who reportedly pledged to stay until after the 2020 election, is departing early.

I only can add: The truth hurts, Mr. President.

‘Fine-tuned machine’ blows another piston

It appears that John Kelly, the man Donald Trump brought aboard to fix the White House staff, is jumping ship.

He reportedly is about to resign as chief of staff after apparently promising to stay with the president until after the 2020 election.

Kelly, the retired Marine Corps general and former Homeland Security secretary, is the second chief of staff to be ousted since Trump took office. Reince Priebus couldn’t manage the staff, couldn’t control the message, couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands. Trump booted him out.

In came Kelly. He kicked some rear ends himself, showing former policy adviser Steven Bannon the door and seeking to control access to the president.

The president’s self-described “fine-tuned machine” ain’t running well. Imagine my (non)surprise.

CNN (quite naturally) is reporting that the two men don’t speak any longer. That is not good for a relationship that demands open communication between the boss and the person who runs his staff.

That fine-tuned machine still is needs a major overhaul.

Trump and Kelly: no ‘bromance’ likely here

Donald Trump became president of the United States with so many shortcomings, it’s futile to list them here.

I’ll just mention one of them: He doesn’t know that running an executive branch of government requires order, discipline and a strict adherence to the chain of command.

So, he took office and hired a decent young man as White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus. The only problem Priebus had was that he couldn’t instill any of those qualities in the White House operation. Chaos erupted daily, if not hourly.

Then he was gone. In came another type of manager: John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, the former secretary of homeland security. Kelly instilled a ton of discipline and order. He booted “Mooch” Scaramucci from the communications director job; he showed chief strategist Stephen Bannon the door. Sebastian Gorka, the so-called “terrorism expert” was out the door next. He has limited access to the Oval Office. He has bossed the staff around like the good Marine he is.

But as the New York Times story notes, he grates on the president — and the feeling is quite mutual.

Read the Time story here.

I was hoping that Trump’s appointment of Kelly might turn things around, that the White House might function as it is designed to function. It’s looking more and more that Kelly might not make the grade.

The problem starts at the very top. As the Times reports: “It is inevitable that a guy who will not be contained and does not want to be handled or managed was going to rebel against the latest manager who wanted to control him,” said Roger Stone, the longtime Trump adviser, who believes Mr. Kelly represents a kind of management coup by “the triumvirate” of two powerful retired generals — Mr. Kelly and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary — and one general who is still in the Army, the national security adviser, Lt. Gen H. R. McMaster.

Trump simply isn’t wired to follow a protocol that is not of his own making. He boasted repeatedly along the campaign trail that his stellar business success would hold him in good stead as president. It ain’t working out so well.

And let’s remember how the president accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination and declared that “I, alone” can solve every problem from which the nation suffers.

Uhh, no. You cannot, Mr. President. The office requires teamwork. It requires cooperation. And order. I should add discipline.

Gen. Kelly is trying to do his job. If only his boss would allow him.