President Trump summons White House staffers to his private quarters for secret evening meetings to change assignments given to them by John Kelly, report claims
- Chief of Staff John Kelly has attempted to impose discipline on the White House?
- But a report suggests President Donald Trump has found the loopholes
- President apparently calls White House aides to his private residence to give orders and?instructs them not to tell Kelly about the plans
- Trump's friends have also reportedly been asked to make appointments if they wish to speak with the Commander-in-Chief, it is claimed
- Many of them instead go directly to wife, Melania, who will pass messages along?
President Trump?reportedly summons White House staffers to his private quarters in the evenings in order to change assignments given to them by Chief of Staff John Kelly.
A report on Sunday in the Wall Street Journal claims the president often sidesteps the order and discipline Kelly has tried to impose on the West Wing by bypassing the regular scheduling of phone calls between staff and advisers that give Kelly control over the information he receives.
The President then specifically instructs them not to let Kelly know that they have spoken, it is claimed.
Chief of Staff John Kelly has attempted to impose discipline on the White House but a report by the Wall Street Journal suggests President Donald Trump has found the loopholes
According to the report, some of the president's friends have even been known use the First Lady Melania Trump as a way of getting messages directly to the commander-in-chief.
'If I don't want to wait 24 hours for a call from the president, getting to Melania is much easier,' one person said.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Trump said: 'This is more fake news and these are more anonymous sources peddling things that just aren't true. The First Lady is focused on her own work in the East Wing.'?
The White House declined to provide comment.?
Kelly was named chief of staff in July and has said his job was not to control the president but to bring a sense of order to the White House.
Kelly says he is purely focused on the day-to-day running of the White House, not policy
'I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president so that he can make the best decisions,' he said in an interview in October.
Kelly has managed to control some of the President's behavior and has stopped Trump's friends having their phone calls patched through to the Oval Office, it is claimed. He reportedly now requires them to make an appointment.
White House aides are also no longer allowed to simply barge into the office to speak with the president about whatever is on their minds, the newspaper claims.
However, a White House insider says Trump has developed 'workarounds' to dodge Kelly's rules.
'John has been successful at putting in place a stronger chain of command in the White House, requiring people to go through him to get to the Oval Office,' Leon Panetta, a White House chief of staff under President Clinton who knows Kelly, told the Journal.
There have been times when Kelly, left, has found cause to hold his head in his hands. Trump's friends reportedly now find it easier to communicate with him through his wife, Melania, center
'The problem has always been whether or not the president is going to accept better discipline in the way he operates. He's been less successful at that.'
With Kelly running the White House operations that frees up Trump to concentrate on his agenda.
'This is all just inevitable,' a person close to Trump told the newspaper. 'It's not that Kelly is wrong – we all know he's terribly competent.'
White House staffers say that Trump's working relationship with Kelly remains strong and that the two men appear to have found an equilibrium that suggests Kelly could be in place for a long time.
As for Trump's tweets, Kelly has reportedly told staffers not to be influenced by them.
And the two men seem to have come to an understanding on the extent of their relationship.
'Kelly is too much of a general, and Trump is too much Trump,' a White House official told the newspaper, adding that the president holds his chief of staff in high regard.?
At a briefing on Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico earlier in the fall, Trump noted Kelly's presence in the back of the room.
'He likes to keep a low profile; Look at him sitting in the back,' Trump continued. 'But, boy, is he watching—you have no idea.'
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