Even at a time when breaking news from the White House happens almost hourly around the clock, the firing of now former communication director Anthony Scaramucci happened at breakneck speed. Hired on July 21, he’s already packing his bags as the incoming Chief of Staff retired General John Kelly gets “…a clean slate and the ability to build his own team,” according to current press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Firing Scaramucci and hiring Kelly are the first things Donald Trump has gotten right during his presidency.
I can only speculate that the twin embarrassments of the defeat of the healthcare bill, and the blunt statement by the Pentagon that they don’t take policy orders from a tweet, compounded by the heat he’s taking from the Republicans and the Wall Street Journal, must have spurred this change. Why Kelly? It may seem counterintuitive, but bullies like authority figures and Trump, who attended military academy and had a dictatorial father, seems to worship military generals.
Kelly would be well advised to put his energy into managing the White House staff, an excellent piece of advice from the man who was considered one of the finest in his former profession—James Baker. Baker gives clear advice in this New York Times piece: “Sage Advice From the ‘Gold Standard’ of White House Chiefs of Staff.”
If Kelly listens to Baker and Trump allows him to do his job, I predict that Steve Bannon will find his wings clipped in fairly short order. It will give everyone in the White House much-needed parameters and allow Robert Mueller to do his job. We can only hope and wait and see.
Andrew Faas is the author of From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire
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