Kelly—who replaced Reince Priebus as the chief of staff in late July, immediately canned Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, and began limiting what right-wing news outlets Trump sees on a daily basis—has clashed with Trump, according to the New York Times. And apparently Trump recently got nasty with Kelly after an intense rally in Arizona.
After Trump reportedly laid into Kelly, the Times wrote Kelly “later told other White House staff members that he had never been spoken to like that during 35 years of serving his country. In the future, he said, he would not abide such treatment, according to three people familiar with the exchange.”
Though Kelly seems to have settled down the White House in part, the newspaper also noted that he still has to consider Trump’s disdain for being managed.
“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,” Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime adviser, told the newspaper. “… Ultimately Donald Trump is his own man, and he’s going to resist all the control and regimented systems Kelly is trying to impose.”
The Daily Beast also reported that Kelly has sought to limit the influence of Omarosa Manigault, the Apprentice TV star who is now the communications director for the Office of Public Liaison. According to the Daily Beast, Kelly has tried to stop her from riling up Trump with negative news stories. Wrote the website: “The stories Manigault would present to Trump, often on a phone or printed out, would often enrage the president, and resulted in him spending at least the rest of the day fuming about it.”
Kelly also has physically expressed frustrations with his boss. During an unhinged Trump press conference last month in which Trump clashed with the press about his response to the Charlottesville violence, Kelly became a short-lived meme after viewers noticed his disbelieving reactions to Trump’s words.
But Kelly reportedly isn’t thinking about leaving his job, and on Friday, Trump tweeted this about Kelly.
General John Kelly is doing a great job as Chief of Staff. I could not be happier or more impressed – and this Administration continues to..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2017
And why is Trump showing his support of Kelly?
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) September 2, 2017
As the Times notes, though, Kelly can’t control everything. Wrote the paper: “Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering.”