Tuesday is shaping up to be another tough day in the Trump White House. The imminent departure of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has created a cascade effect of craziness, with plenty of stupid finger pointing, but no actual human beings to fill his soon-to-be-vacated position.
According to the New York Times, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Nick Ayers’ announcement that he would leave the White House instead of replacing Kelly caught the West Wing staff with their pants down, after deliberate efforts by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to position Ayers as Kelly’s replacement.
Per the Times:
Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner’s efforts on behalf of Mr. Ayers were widely seen as a coup attempt, started on behalf of a president who was unhappy with Mr. Kelly but could not bring himself to fire him. Mr. Ayers’s rejection of the offer stunned the couple, who had long resisted Mr. Kelly’s attempt to bend them to a traditional White House hierarchy.
First of all, that’s not, um, what a “coup” actually is. But, OK, let’s not lose sight of the fact that a man whose literal catchphrase is “you’re fired” had to outsource the actual act of axing a subordinate to his kids.
Kelly, meanwhile, is handing his ouster with the sort of grace and dignity you’d expect. Just kidding, he’s reportedly taking the news extremely badly, and is either getting incredibly sloppy at work, or—for the more conspiratorial-minded among you—leaving breadcrumbs for his trusted inner circle to carry on in his absence. According to the Times, Kelly’s recently started leaving sensitive notes about conversations with Trump and Kushner out in the open for his entire staff to see.
Meanwhile, nobody on Earth actually seems to want Kelly’s job—and honestly, who can blame them? We’ve already seen what’s happened to Kelly, and his predecessor Reince Priebus (remember him?) and you’d have to be a special kind of masochist to willingly stick your head in that lion’s jaw knowing it’s inevitably going to crush your skull no matter what.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump himself spent Tuesday morning insisting that, actually, the hunt for a new chief of staff was going great—just great!—with “over ten” people “vying” for the job.
You’re welcome, Mr. President.