Speed Reads

behind the scenes

John Kelly once shut down Trump mid-rant

Will White House Chief of Staff John Kelly be the man to tame President Trump? It's the question on everyone's minds as, after just one day on the job, Kelly has already ousted communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

Judging by one recent conflict between Kelly and Trump, though, the new chief of staff isn't afraid to stand up to his boss when things get tense:

Raised voices could be heard through the thick door to the Oval Office as John Kelly — then secretary of homeland security — offered some tough talk to President Donald Trump.

Kelly, a whip-cracking retired general who was sworn in as White House chief of staff on Monday, had demanded to speak to the president alone after Trump complained loudly that the U.S. was admitting travelers from countries he viewed as high risk.

Kelly first tried to explain to Trump that the admissions were standard — some people had legitimate reasons to visit the country — but the president insisted that it was making him look bad, according to an administration official familiar with the exchange about a month ago.

Kelly then demanded that other advisers leave the room so he could speak to the president frankly. Trump refused at first, but agreed when Kelly insisted. [The Associated Press]

The New York Times reported Monday that "several administration aides" are already afraid Trump and Kelly are "on a collision course that could ultimately doom the unlikely partnership." Another question, then, might be: How long can Kelly last?