According to friends of Donald Trump, the president is afraid to dismiss Chief of Staff John Kelly out of fears that the White House will descend in to even more chaos — even though he wants him gone.
Speaking with Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, five Republicans close to the White House claimed that the president has admitted that he won’t fire Kelly despite intense pressure by son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.
According to the report, those sources say Trump’s reluctance to fire Kelly comes down to a belief that the White House can’t handle another staffing blow-up at a time when it is still reeling from the dismissal of White House adviser Rob Porter over domestic abuse charges.
As one Trump friend noted, “The president doesn’t have the balls to fire Kelly.”
With no logical successor waiting in the wings to replace Kelly, Trump reportedly sees limited options for a replacement and has indicated that he would like to see either fired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci in the role or son-in-law Kushner who is already a major target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the administration.
Dogging the president is his regret at picking Kelly to replace former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, with Trump admitting, “he was too impulsive to get Kelly. He bought into Kelly’s resume, and not his personality,” said one friend.
Adding to his woes is the daily pressure from Kushner and his daughter, with Trump’s son-in-law feeling he is “being slow-rolled by Kelly’s cronies,” over his full security clearance that he feels should have been granted already — paving the way for taking Kelly’s job.
Earlier on Tuesday, Scaramucci also tried to undercut Kelly, telling a forum in San Francisco that Kelly has crushed morale in the White House “through fear and intimidation.”
You can read the whole report here.