Speed Reads


Trump reportedly schedules impromptu White House meetings based on that morning's Fox & Friends

When retired Gen. John Kelly joined the White House as President Trump's chief of staff a year ago, he tried to impose some order, restricting access to Trump, pruning disruptive aides, and urging the president to place his calls through the White House operator, for example. "A year into the job, Kelly's attempts to implement traditional processes in an untraditional White House have failed, according to a dozen people in and outside the administration," Politico's Eliana Johnson reports, and in fact, "three White House officials said these practices didn't last longer than six weeks."

Kelly has improved Trump's White House, his allies say, but his influence is limited by some pretty fundamental differences in temperament and habit — Trump constantly watches Fox News and tweets while Kelly "rarely watches television and doesn't follow Twitter," Politico says. Trump acts as though he doesn't really want a chief of staff, and Kelly "no longer works to keep his mercurial boss on task or on message." Trump has even started adding last-minute meetings to his schedule in a black appointment book, Politico reports, adding:

Kelly has done away with "meeting crashers," the West Wing aides who showed up for meetings uninvited, according to a White House aide, but he has not been able to curb Trump's practice of adding and subtracting advisers to meetings throughout the day or of turning scheduled gatherings into freewheeling discussions of subjects that suit his interests — including those suggested to him by his coterie of outside advisers, including Fox News host Sean Hannity. "He comes down for the day, and whatever he saw on Fox and Friends, he schedules meetings based on that," said one former White House official. [Politico]

You can read more about Kelly's failures and brief triumphs, and an analysis about how the Trump-Kelly relationship is worryingly similar to President Gerald Ford's clashes with his chief of staff Alexander Haig, at Politico.