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taming trump

John Kelly is trying to filter what documents land on Trump's desk

Chief of Staff John Kelly's latest attempt to correct course in the White House has him positioned as the gatekeeper of what information comes into President Trump's hands, Politico reports. Working with staff secretary Rob Porter, Kelly's method is "designed to ensure that the president won't see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports, and even news articles that haven't been vetted," Politico writes.

The process is "tried and true" and "not endemic to Republicans or Democrats," said George W. Bush's deputy assistant for domestic policy, Tevi Troy. The Obama administration likewise used the staff secretary's office as a filter of information to the president.

"If there was not this structure beforehand and if the structure has now been created and if they adhere to it, you will get better results, but there are some 'ifs' in my statement," Troy added of the Trump administration. "The process works if people stick to it."

The downside, Politico writes, is that "the new system is likely to slow the policymaking process," but the reward would be dodging combative hangups such as the one that sprung up around the ObamaCare repeal and replace approach. "In the past, a few senior administration officials unilaterally made policy calls that everyone had to live with," said one Trump administration official. "It seems like those days are over." Read more about Kelly's approach at Politico.