John Kelly's Riding This Thing to the End, Even If That's Maybe Trump's Impeachment

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is on the outs with President Trump yet again, with Politico reporting Monday night that their relationship has become so strained the two are “barely tolerating one another.” But Kelly has also apparently given up completely on guiding Trump—even if it leads to his impeachment.

According to the site (emphasis mine):

But Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.


The site also reported that Kelly advised against Kirstjen Nielsen doing her ill-fated late afternoon press conference yesterday—again, almost certainly not because he opposed her going to bat for the administration’s policy of family separations, but because it was a risky PR move for a White House faced with some of the worst blowback about any domestic policy it’s enacted so far.

It’s true that this dark “chapter of American history”—one of mass deportations and family separations, measures that Kelly strongly supported as the head of Homeland Security—would come to a certain sort of end if Trump were impeached (a extremely remote possibility). But given that a majority of Republicans support the separations, and that Democrats by and large still back the country’s immigration enforcement apparatus—and given how long it would take to rebuild everything that’s already been lost—there’s simply no quick ending in sight.

Managing Editor, Splinter

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