Donald Trump and Gen. John Kelly, are “fighting a lot,” and the president’s chief of staff—his second in less than nine months in office—“doesn’t love this job,” Vanity Fair reports.
Kelly has been working to rein in the West Wing since July, when he replaced former chief of staff Reince Preibus as Trump’s right hand man. The general has struggled to enforce structural organization in the White House in hopes of limiting who can offer un-vetted advice to a president who prides himself on having hired “the best people” (in addition to Priebus, Trump has also lost two communications directors, a press secretary, a chief strategist, a national security adviser, a Health and Human Services secretary and countless other officials).
But Kelly’s efforts to provide credence to Trump’s claim that his administration is “running like a fine-tuned machine” have angered the notoriously freewheeling president. As Vanity Fair notes, the president was particularly peeved when Kelly reassigned trade adviser Peter Navarro to report to Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn without informing the president.
When he found out, the president was reportedly furious.
“Trump was like, what the fuck? He told Navarro, ‘You’re my guy and hang in there,’” a source told Vanity Fair.
“They’re fighting a lot,” another said.
For his part, Kelly appears to be sticking around—at least for now—despite turbulence in the White House.
“He doesn’t love this job,” a person familiar with Kelly’s thinking told Vanity Fair. “He’s doing it as a duty for the country.”
The report comes as Trump on Saturday said Kelly will remain his chief of staff for “seven remaining years” in office.
“John Kelly is one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. He’s doing an incredible job,” Trump said. “And he told me for the last two months, he loves it more than anything he’s ever done. He’s a military man, but he loves doing this, which is chief of staff, more than anything he’s ever done.”
“He’s doing a great job. He will be here, in my opinion, for the entire seven remaining years.”