John Kelly reportedly blew up at Donald Trump in an explosive Oval Office fight that led to Trump apparently backing down, a new report claims.
There have been increasing rumors of tension between Trump and his chief of staff, including several reports that Kelly has been on the verge of quitting. That nearly happened last month when Kelly “blew up at Trump” in the Oval Office and threatened to quit, Axios reported. It was not exactly clear from the report why Gen. Kelly was so angry at Donald Trump, but the report noted it was not related to the firing of David Shulkin earlier that day.
Whatever may have transpired, Trump seems to have backed down and John Kelly still wields power in the White House. The relationship remains tenuous, however — Kelly has often said he does not need to be in the job and did not seek it out, a source told Axios, and after the March fight in the Oval Office, some friends and colleagues were able to calm Kelly down.
But there are also reports that Donald Trump is growing more and more tired of Kelly’s control in the White House. The Associated Press reported that Trump has been moving away from Kelly, even making his controversial phone call to Vladimir Putin last month without Kelly on the line. Kelly also was not part of the decision to hire John Bolton as national security adviser, the report noted.
John Kelly threatened to quit on March 28, sources familiar with the event tell Axios.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 7, 2018
Kelly blew up at Trump in an Oval Office meeting that day, and while walking back to his office muttered he was going to quit. https://t.co/CNICPAXmJx
The report went on to suggest that John Kelly’s time in the White House is limited.
“Emboldened in his job, Trump has rebelled against Kelly’s restrictions and mused about doing away with the chief of staff post entirely,” the report noted. “It’s all leading White House staffers and Trump allies to believe that Kelly is working on borrowed time.”
Donald Trump’s first year in office was marked with turmoil, with a record-high number of firings of top administration officials. Kelly has remained in his position since last year and reportedly is credited with bringing a measure of stability to the White House, often exerting strict control over Trump including cutting off access of some aides who tried to sway the president’s decision-making.
John Kelly has verbally threatened to quit several times to Donald Trump, the Axios report noted.