In the first few weeks of Trump’s presidency, many speculated that Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart chief, was the one calling the shots in the White House. With headlines shouting that Bannon is the power behind the throne, Trump started to get annoyed. President Steve Bannon is starting to get on Donald Trump’s nerves. Trump was particularly perturbed at Saturday Night Live’s portrayal of “President Bannon” and his manipulation of the man-child Trump. Trump eventually fired Bannon because the egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief must always be the center of attention.
History may soon repeat itself. The National Review recently published this article, Being President Kelly. Ruh-roh.
The president of the United States has been in a low-level public pissing match with his chief of staff, Marine general John F. Kelly.
Kelly got Trump’s dander up by referring to recent presidential statements on border security as “not informed,” insisting that Trump is — dreadful Washington phrase! — “evolving” on the issue. And the president is evolving on it, that evolution being made inevitable by the utter preposterousness of his campaign promises. Long gone is his blustery insistence that there will be a wall (not a mere fence) from San Diego to Brownsville and that the government of Mexico will pay for it. Trump now is talking about renovating some fencing, maybe adding a bit, and not bothering Enrique Peña Nieto et al. too much about the bill. That’s an evolution for Trump, who has a pronounced disinclination to pick up the tab for anything.
That the president may be uninformed is a trope of Kelly’s. In addition to describing the president as “not informed” about the subject of his keynote issue, he has described his job as chief of staff as ensuring that the staff “better informs” the president on a range of issues. “If the administration fails, if the president of the United States is uninformed one time and makes the wrong decision, that’s on me,” Kelly told Fox News. Trump, in his usual passive-aggressive way, resorted to sub-tweeting: “The Wall is the Wall,” he wrote with his by now familiar erratic capitalization. “It has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.” Trump later called Kelly in for an Apprentice-style dressing down, according to the New York Times, which also reports that Kelly, who brought some semblance of order to the chaotic Trump administration, repeatedly has threatened to quit unless his orders are followed — including by the president.
Donald Trump runs a Twitter account. President John Kelly is running the administration.