Shake-ups con­tinue in White House

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

first day of work for Trump’s new chief of staff, re­tired Ma­rine Corps general John Kelly, who sources said was seek­ing to im­pose or­der on a White House rived with fac­tions and back­bit­ing.

“There’s a new sher­iff in town,” said Barry Ben­nett, a for­mer Trump cam­paign ad­viser.

A Repub­li­can close to Trump said the pres­i­dent fret­ted at the week­end over what to do about Scara­mucci, call­ing his ad­vis­ers to ask their opinion, all of whom told him the tough-talk­ing aide had to go.

Trump was an­noyed about Scara­mucci’s lewd com­ments to The New Yorker mag­a­zine pub­lished last week and at how the abra­sive New York fi­nancier ap­peared to in­flate the strength of their friend­ship, since he had started the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cy­cle last year as a fundraiser for two Trump ri­vals, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush.

Trump de­cided it was time to cut him loose, the source said. Kelly, who also wanted him re­moved, sum­moned Scara­mucci to Kelly’s of­fice on Mon­day and fired him on the spot, the of­fi­cial said. It was one of Kelly’s first acts as chief of staff.

“A great day at the White House!” Trump tweeted later.

The de­par­ture of Scara­mucci fol­lowed one of the rock­i­est weeks of Trump’s pres­i­dency in which a ma­jor Repub­li­can ef­fort to over­haul the health­care sys­tem failed in Con­gress and both his spokesman and pre­vi­ous chief of staff left their jobs as White House in­fight­ing burst into the open.

Scara­mucci’s com­ments to The New Yorker in­cluded a pro­fan­ity-laced at­tack against then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s chief strate­gist, Steve Ban­non.

“The pres­i­dent cer­tainly felt that An­thony’s com­ments were in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a per­son in that po­si­tion,” White House spokes­woman Sarah San­ders told re­porters.

In a change from pre­vi­ous pro­ce­dure at the White House, all staff will now re­port to Kelly, in­clud­ing Trump’s daugh­ter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kush­ner, San­ders said.

In­ner cir­cle

A Repub­li­can of­fi­cial close to the White House said Kelly had been given wide au­thor­ity to im­pose or­der on the un­ruly Trump White House.

Ten­sions in Trump’s in­ner cir­cle erupted last week when Scara­mucci as­sailed Priebus and Ban­non, two of the West Wing’s most se­nior fig­ures. He ac­cused Priebus of leak­ing in­for­ma­tion to the me­dia. Priebus later re­signed.

Trump ap­peared on Mon­day with Kelly in the Oval Of­fice and in a Cab­i­net meet­ing where he pre­dicted the new chief of staff would do a “spec­tac­u­lar job”. He praised Kelly for his ten­ure over­see­ing border se­cu­rity is­sues at the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity.

“With a very con­tro­ver­sial sit­u­a­tion, there’s been very lit­tle con­tro­versy, which is re­ally amaz­ing by it­self,” Trump said.

Repub­li­cans fear that staff chaos at the White House could de­rail any at­tempt to re­vive ef­forts to re­peal and re­place the Oba­macare health­care law and a plan to over­haul the US tax sys­tem.

John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff

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