With Chief of Staff John Kelly exiting the White House before the end of the year with no replacement in sight, Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law are looking to fill the void while gaining more power. A source close to the president says that he isn’t sure he needs a new chief of staff with his family members in charge.
Mercury News reports that Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner, a couple described by departing Chief of Staff John Kelly as “dilettantes,” may have seized even more control of the White House while there is even more scrutiny on them from outside the administration.
A Trump ally spoke to the New York Times to share their personal view of what’s going on, especially now that Nick Ayers turned down the position.
“The view inside is that they are now ‘running the building,’ have been seen as maneuvering for greater control and influence around the president.”
Even staff inside the White House are seeing Kelly’s exit and “Javanka’s” grab for power as a “coup.”
But even Trump friends don’t believe that Ivanka and Jared are up to holding down the fort while evidence is mounting against Trump and his associates.
We still don’t know what Ivanka does in the White House, or why she’s qualified to do it.https://t.co/snyZsd0kqd— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) December 10, 2018
Trump biographer Timothy L. O’Brien says that there is no particular name on the president’s mind to replace Kelly, and he is more inclined to trust family.
“[He is] in greater thrall to Javanka.”
O’Brien added that when Donald Trump closes ranks with family, mistakes are made.
“Trump prizes family above anything else. Trump also lacks the patience or self-confidence to take guidance from truly talented or experienced people, which leads him to lean on family members and to make unfortunate and frequently misguided mistakes.”
Ron Klain, chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, says that Ivanka and Kushner operate outside the chain of command and have “floating powers behind the scenes.”
Donald Trump announced that John Kelly would be leaving or perhaps “retiring” before the end of the year (which only has three more weeks left), but the now departing chief of staff has been unhappy for some time, frustrated with watching Ivanka and Jared “playing government.”
Sources add that as Kelly realized that he had no control over Trump or his family members’ movements in and out of the Oval Office, he pulled away, coming into work late and leaving early, often telling colleagues, “I’m leaving and I’m not coming back.”