President Trump is back to using his trusted (and less secure) personal cellphone to chat with outside advisers, and several White House officials told CNN it's either a sign that Chief of Staff John Kelly is losing his grip on Trump, or proof he's finally brought some semblance of organization to the chaotic administration.
One rose-colored-glasses-wearing senior official said Trump and Kelly have "grown into some level of comfort" with each other, and while there "used to be a level of babysitting," Kelly no longer needs to know everyone Trump calls. Others said Trump is "talking to all sorts of people" on his cell, and he doesn't want Kelly to know who is on the other end of the line. Three people told CNN that Trump is directly contacting Republican lawmakers, and Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has reportedly been bragging to his friends that thanks to Trump's phone, he has "unfettered" access to the president.
Kelly was able to keep tabs on the people Trump phoned via the White House switchboard because he received a printed list of the calls. One person told CNN "a lot of meetings, a lot of things have happened lately without Kelly being in the room," and two others said new National Security Adviser John Bolton and Larry Kudlow, Trump's fresh top economic adviser, have been told they directly report to Trump and not Kelly. For more on the current state of the Trump-Kelly relationship, visit CNN. Catherine Garcia