WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff John Kelly was once empowered to bring order to a turbulent West Wing. Now, it seems, he’s receding from view.
Kelly’s clout has been diminished. His word is less trusted by staff. His guidance is less tolerated by an increasingly go-it-alone-president.
President Donald Trump has rebelled against Kelly’s restrictions. He’s even mused about doing away with a chief of staff. That’s led White House staffers and Trump allies to believe Kelly’s working on borrowed time.
Kelly’s allies say his retreat is strategic and an acknowledgment that Trump wanted to exert more control.
But those close to the president say Trump’s increasingly expressed fatigue at Kelly’s attempts to shackle him and that while Trump’s not ready to fire Kelly, he’s gradually begun freezing him out.