Offbeat: All eyes on Kelly as Trump shake-up gathers steam - - PressFrom - US
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OffbeatAll eyes on Kelly as Trump shake-up gathers steam

17:40  08 december  2018
17:40  08 december  2018 Source:   thehill.com

White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to resign soon

White House chief of staff John Kelly expected to resign soon John Kelly is expected to resign as White House chief of staff in the coming days, two sources familiar with the situation unfolding in the West Wing tell CNN. Seventeen months in, Kelly and President Donald Trump have reached a stalemate in their relationship and it is no longer seen as tenable by either party. Though Trump asked Kelly over the summer to stay on as chief of staff for two more years, the two have stopped speaking in recent days. Trump is actively discussing a replacement plan, though a person involved in the process said nothing is final right now and ultimately it is up to Trump.

President Trump ’s long-awaited staff shake - up is underway, but the biggest development is yet to come. Detractors, however, contend that his buttoned-up manner was always a bad fit for the freewheeling Trump . The president tends to see tensions among his staff as a feature rather than a

This shake up is most likely a decision by Trump to regain control of his sinking poll numbers, but those that Speculation on Bannon and Ailes joining the Trump mulls shakeup as Kelly says 'back channel' talks are 'a good. Donald Trump returned to the US from a relatively successful nine-day.

All eyes on Kelly as Trump shake-up gathers steam© The Associated Press The departure of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been rumored for months. President Trump's long-awaited staff shake-up is underway, but the biggest development is yet to come.

White House chief of staff John Kelly's departure is expected to be announced any day now, with Nick Ayers the overwhelming favorite to succeed him.

Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, is a much more political figure than Kelly, the retired Marine general whose primary focus throughout his White House tenure has been on managerial efficiency rather than strategy.

Mueller investigators questioned John Kelly in obstruction probe

Mueller investigators questioned John Kelly in obstruction probe White House chief of staff John Kelly was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team in recent months, three people with knowledge of the matter told CNN. Kelly responded to a narrow set of questions from special counsel investigators after White House lawyers initially objected to Mueller's request to do the interview earlier this summer, the sources said. Kelly is widely expected to leave his position in the coming days and is no longer on speaking terms with President Donald Trump, CNN reported earlier Friday.

Seventeen months in, Kelly and President Donald Trump have reached a stalemate in their relationship and it is no longer seen as tenable by either party. Though Trump asked Kelly over the summer to stay on as chief of staff for two more years, the two have stopped speaking in recent days.

President Trump 's long-awaited staff shake - up is underway, but the biggest development is yet to come. White House chief of staff John Kelly 's departure is expected to be announced any day now, with Nick Ayers the overwhelming favorite to succeed him.

But the same strengths that commend Ayers to his supporters — and to the president — also draw pushback from others.

Ayers's name has been floated for the top job before and "all of Nick's detractors went on the warpath," according to one source close to the White House.

"He has sharp elbows but he is an A-list political talent. And that often breeds resentment," the source added.

The Hill spoke with more than a half-dozen current and former administration officials and others within Trump's circle about the shake-up.

On Friday, the president announced that he would nominate William Barr to be the new attorney general and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

In addition, White House political director Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, the director of the office of public liaison, are moving to roles in Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.

Larry Kudlow on John Kelly: 'I don't think he was fired'

Larry Kudlow on John Kelly: 'I don't think he was fired' White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday he's not sure whether chief of staff John Kelly resigned or was fired, but said he believes it was probably time for Kelly to move on. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "I don't know, to be perfectly honest," Kudlow said when asked if Kelly was fired. "I think it was very amicable, all right? That's what I understand." "The president is saying good things about the chief," Kudlow added on Fox News.

President Trump 's long-awaited staff shake - up is underway, but the biggest development is yet to come. White House chief of staff John Kelly 's departure is expected to be announced any day now, with Nick Ayers the overwhelming favorite to succeed him.

Kelly was always a Trumpist in ideology—reflexively nostalgic for the past, committed to old-fashioned gender roles, skeptical of cultural change, and strongly anti-immigration. The difference between the men was largely about style and approach, not substance. All eyes on Kelly as Trump shake - up

But the most feverish speculation surrounds Kelly and Ayers.

Kelly's demise has been forecast on numerous occasions, but appears to be for real this time around.

Two sources who spoke with The Hill said a holiday dinner for senior staff, set for Friday evening at the White House after Trump returned from a trip to Kansas City, Mo., had initially been expected to serve a dual function, marking the announcement of Kelly's departure.

By Friday afternoon, however, an official announcement had been postponed — but probably not for long.

Kelly's defenders assert he has handled a near-impossible job with stoicism, seeking to manage the mercurial moods of the president as well as the vicious rivalries that rumble on among his aides and broader circle.

"The general installed a chain of command that has been really valuable in improving the effectiveness of the White House," said longtime Trump friend and ally Michael Caputo. "I think the chain of command will remain after his departure, and it is an important legacy."

The Latest: Trump considering 4 to be next chief of staff

The Latest: Trump considering 4 to be next chief of staff President Donald Trump is considering four people as he determines who will be his next chief of staff. A person familiar with Trump's thinking tells The Associated Press that the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, is among those under consideration to replace John Kelly. The person thought to be the president's top choice for the job, vice presidential chief of staff Nick Ayers, tweeted Sunday that he's no longer in the running for the position. Instead, he will begin overseeing a pro-Trump political action committee next year. A White House official tells the AP that Trump and Ayers could not reach agreement on Ayers' length of service.

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Saturday that his chief of staff, John F. Kelly , would step down by the end of the year, the latest move in a long-planned staff shake - up as the president heads into the 2020 campaign facing growing peril from the special counsel and newly empowered Democrats.

+ President Donald Trump has managed to beat the system. By any typical measure, the number of controversies consuming his young administration should have relegated him to the political hinterland of public opinion.

Detractors, however, contend that his buttoned-up manner was always a bad fit for the freewheeling Trump. The president tends to see tensions among his staff as a feature rather than a bug of his management style.

One GOP operative argued that Kelly was worse than his often-derided predecessor, Reince Priebus.

"Reince didn't tighten things but he understood the president's style better than Kelly," this source said. "Trump's entire trade and national security agenda is a year behind schedule because Kelly didn't agree with it and he ended up blocking it."

Abundant palace intrigue surrounds Ayers's likely ascension to the chief of staff role.

He is said to be close to members of the Trump family, including key advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's eldest daughter and son-in-law.

But Ayers's potential appointment has raised hackles with top members of the president's staff. Some suggest his relationship with aide Johnny DeStefano is frosty, while others name Kellyanne Conway as an internal rival.

Conway, a counselor to the president, has pushed back vigorously on that suggestion before.

John Kelly’s exit raises concerns about White House future

John Kelly’s exit raises concerns about White House future The departure of White House chief of staff John Kelly is raising concerns about how the White House will face potential legal and political challenges in 2019. 

President Donald Trump has been eyeing potential replacements for several senior positions in his administration -- both inside the West Wing and Speaking at his post-midterms news conference last week, the President made clear he was planning to shake up his staff, though declined to offer details.

Chief of staff John Kelly and homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen believed to be vulnerable as president stokes speculation.

"I have zero beef with Nick Ayers," she told CNN in November.

People familiar with Conway's thinking insist she would support anyone whom the president chose for the chief of staff role, including Ayers. She apparently regards suggestions of tensions between the two as mischief-making on the part of those now exiled from the administration.

The departures of Stepien and Clark are much less controversial. Those movements had been "planned for at least four or five weeks — certainly before the midterms," said the source close to the White House.

A move to the Trump 2020 campaign was seen as a natural move for both men.

Nauert's nomination as U.N. ambassador is a promotion for a woman who has impressed disparate factions in the Trump administration with her performance at the State Department.

Nauert's rise — she is a former Fox News Channel anchor but has no notable foreign policy experience beyond her current job — is one more data point showing Trump places a higher value on effective communications skills than almost everything else.

The nomination of Barr to be attorney general stands apart from the other moves because of its obvious relevance to the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller probe is intensifying by the day and the new attorney general, if confirmed, would have oversight of it.

Kelly to remain as White House chief of staff through Jan. 2 or longer, official says

Kelly to remain as White House chief of staff through Jan. 2 or longer, official says White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said both President Trump and John Kelly are committed to a "very peaceful" transition.

Trump may have an even more dramatic shake - up in mind for his administration. Trump has long chafed at how chief of staff John Kelly has curbed access to him in the Oval Office and has mused about doing away with the gatekeepers, according to two people familiar with the president’s thinking

Trump may have an even more dramatic shake - up in mind for his administration. The president has floated to outside advisers a plan to do away with Reince Priebus, Trump 's first chief of staff, "was a little bit more like President Trump was used to. General Kelly came in and it was completely different

Barr held the position of attorney general from 1991 to early 1993 under former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

The battle lines in the debate over Barr's suitability for the role are already being drawn.

To liberals and Trump's critics, he has been too willing to endorse an expansive view of presidential power and take partisan stances.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who's expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee once Democrats take over the majority next month, released a statement Friday evening noting that he had "a number of very serious concerns" with the nomination.

To Trump ultra-loyalists, Barr carries a whiff of the Washington establishment of which they have long been suspicious.

But others praised the choice.

Brad Blakeman, a Republican who served in former President George W. Bush's White House and is a supporter of Trump, said Barr was an "ideal choice" because he was both "able and respected."

More broadly, Blakeman added, Trump is in the process of settling on his staff before his focus turns more keenly toward his 2020 reelection hopes.

"You don't want changes in your senior [White House] staff when you are trying to form a campaign," he said.

The broader question, however, is whether the personnel changes will really affect the running of an administration where the president's personality is both so singular and so dominant.

One former White House official said people needed to take a realistic view on that score.

"You'd be hard-pressed to find an administration that didn't have turnover following a midterm election, particularly one that didn't go so well for the incumbent party — and it is completely natural for staff to migrate to the reelection campaign," the former official said.

"That said, I don't think much changes. This president dictates how the administration and White House function, not the other way around."

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