WASHINGTON — The Latest on the naming of John Kelly, a retired Marine general to be White House chief of staff to replace Reince Priebus (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he’s not going to stop tweeting.
On Twitter Tuesday, Trump says: “Only the Fake News Media and Trump enemies want me to stop using Social Media (110 million people). Only way for me to get the truth out!”
The tweet came one day after retired Gen. John Kelly took over as Trump’s new chief of staff. On Monday, Trump tweeted “no WH chaos!”
Kelly was tapped to bring order to the chaotic West Wing. He quickly made his presence known on Monday, ousting newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci and revising the command structure so that all senior staffers report to him.
The No. 2 Senate Democrat says White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is in a position to stabilize the White House “and that’s good for this country.”
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois tells CNN he voted for Kelly for Homeland Security secretary, wanted to work with him in that role, and now in his new position.
Says Durbin: “He is in a position where he can stabilize this White House, that’s good for this country. The president has to be part of that.”
Durbin says the former Marine four-star general brings to the chief of staff job qualities the Corps is known for: discipline, loyalty and respect. Says Durbin: “Qualities this White House hasn’t displayed a lot of in the last few weeks.”
Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser during the Trump presidential campaign, says moving on to tax legislation and focusing on the economy will help the White House get back on track after the departure of several senior staffers.
Miller pointed to “fantastic” economic numbers, citing Dow Jones industrial stocks approaching 22,000 and economic growth rate of 2.6 percent last quarter. He said “when the president is talking economy he’s in a winning spot.”
Monday was White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s first day on the job, and it coincided with Anthony Scaramucci’s ouster as White House communications director.
Miller predicted that Kelly’s next move will be to put people in place that will help the president. He suggested Kelly should convince ousted press secretary Sean Spicer to stay on the White House staff at least through the tax reform effort.
Kelly is “not going to force President Trump into structure that’s not going to work,” Miller said. He spoke Tuesday on CNN.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he has confidence that new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly can help restore order after recent turf battles and feuding that resulted in the departure of several senior staffers, including press secretary Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus and even new communications chief Anthony Scaramucci.
“The Marines can do almost anything,” Graham said. “The Marines have landed at the White House. They have a beachhead.”
Graham, speaking on NBC’s “Today Show,” said the key for the White House is to have a “laser-like focus” on getting health care passed by working with the governors and listening to them.
“Discipline is what we are missing,” he said. Graham said Trump has an obligation to “be the president of all of us” and “stop the chaos.” He said having Gen. Kelly in the White House will really help. Graham said the president “can still be consequential” by focusing on health care, getting on to tax reform and dealing with North Korea.
By all indications, new Trump White House chief of staff, John Kelly, is not afraid to challenge his commander-in-chief.
The decorated retired Marine general who served three tours in Iraq was tapped by President Donald Trump to bring order to a chaotic West Wing.
Kelly began to make his mark Monday, dumping newly-appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci just days after his hiring, and restructuring a dysfunctional command structure that has bred warring factions.
From now on, all senior staffers — including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon — will report to Kelly instead of the president.
Some outside the White House say those and other changes are long overdue.