Leon Panetta, who has served as chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton and defense secretary for former President Obama, has some advice for President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff: Be ready to drink heavily.
In an interview with the New York Times, Panetta reveals that he told Kelly to invest in a “big bottle of Scotch” after he agreed to take his new job at the Trump White House.
The first six months of Trump’s presidency have been marked by constant chaos and in-fighting among ever-shifting factions, and has been further complicated by the fact that Trump has given his own daughter and son-in-law key positions within the administration.
The Times reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner both agreed to report directly to Kelly instead of to Trump, in part because they desperately wanted Kelly to come on board so that former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus would get the ax.
Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under former presidents George W. Bush and Obama, told the Times that Kelly’s tenure was off to a strong start — but he questioned how long it could stay this way given that Trump is still president.
“The question is, does it last?” he told the Times.