As John Kelly quietly tucks a year of service as President Trump’s chief of staff under his belt, Trump’s friends and outside advisers suggest Kelly has no actual power over Trump, who reportedly wishes he didn’t have to deal with a head staffer, Politico reported.
Kelly’s increasingly waning influence in the West Wing is perhaps best illustrated in Trump’s penchant for scheduling meetings for himself on a whim. As one former White House official told Politico, Trump regularly makes appointments for the day based on what “Fox and Friends” decides to cover that morning.
“He comes down for the day, and whatever he saw on ‘Fox and Friends,’ he schedules meetings based on that,” a former White House official told Politico. “If it’s Iran, it’s ‘Get John Bolton down here!’ … If he’s seen something on TV or [was] talking to Hannity the night before, he’s got lots of flexibility to do whatever he wants to do.”
Trump reportedly makes his own schedule in a black appointment book and keeps track of the meetings he schedules on the fly with the help of his personal aide Madeline Westerhout, who then reports Trump’s appointments to Kelly’s office.
Kelly — whom a Republican close to the White House called a “chief of staff in name only” — is reportedly aware of how useless his efforts to maintain order have become. He regularly jokes with staff that he is “leaving and I’m not coming back” and has swapped early morning work hours for workout sessions at the gym.
Read Politico’s full report here.