There was a time when President Donald Trump taunted former President Barack Obama for going through three chiefs of staff in just three years. However, if Trump doesn’t slow down on replacing his own chief, his number will be double that of his predecessor in the same amount of time.
3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2012
In 2012, the real estate mogul said Obama couldn’t pass his agenda because he kept changing the highest-ranking employee of the White House — a statement that was not entirely true as Obama did pass some very important legislation, including the Affordable Care Act.
However, the statement about him changing his chief of staff was certainly true.
Rahm Emanuel was Obama’s chief of staff in his first term as president from Jan. 20, 2009, until Oct. 1, 2010. Pete Rouse then took over the position but he was only the interim chief of staff from Oct. 1, 2010, until Jan. 13, 2011. He did not leave the White House upon his resignation and instead, worked for Obama as counselor to the president until late 2013.
Obama then assigned William Daley, who served under him for roughly one year and left the job in Jan. 27, 2012, after he fulfilled his pledge to put the president through his re-election.
None of Obama’s chiefs of staff left because of disputes in the White House. The same cannot be said of Trump, who never really respected his first Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, admittedly an odd choice for the position. Priebus was not an effective leader and his lukewarm efforts were constantly thwarted by the likes of Steve Bannon — for whom a never-before-heard position of “chief strategist” was created — and Jared Kushner, who it appears can never be fired by virtue of him being Trump’s son-in-law.
Priebus was pushed out of the White House only six months into his job on July 31, 2017, and was replaced by Gen. John Kelly, who, it was initially hoped, would bring much-needed moderation to the White House. However, the general revealed himself to be a hardliner on several issues, particularly immigration — and now it seems his days are also numbered in the White House.
Apparently, Kelly has been butting heads with first daughter Ivanka Trump, who is also a senior aide of the president. As their relationship deteriorated, it was rumored Ivanka was searching for the retired general’s replacement.
According to CNN, Kelly also had issues with Ivanka attending the 2018 Winter Olympics ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, where she reportedly discussed sanctions against North Korea with President Moon Jae-in. The chief of staff believes the first daughter is not qualified enough nor has the adequate security clearance to take on such a task and was merely “playing government.”
Now that Kelly has downgraded her husband Jared Kushner’s security clearance, White House insiders allege “Javanka” and Kelly are locked in a death match.
It’s probable that Kelly will now be forced to leave — and soon. This means, Trump will have to hire a third chief of staff and it’s just been 13 months into his presidency.
This seems like cosmic retribution for Trump for taunting Obama.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters/Yuri Gripas