Ivanka Trump likely meant it as a compliment when she wrote that she is “looking forward to serving alongside John Kelly”, but her tweet shows exactly what the President’s new Chief of Staff needs to fix.
The former Marine Corps General recently replaced Reince Priebus at the White House, becoming the fourth general to take a senior role in Donald Trump’s administration.
Kelly joins a White House in turmoil and will know that most of the administration’s most damaging wounds have been self-inflicted by a capricious President who cannot stick to the script and who is known to change his mind based on the last person he spoke to, or on unverified news reports of uncertain veracity.
Kelly’s first move has been to take up the role of gatekeeper, making sure information flows through him first before reaching the President.
Politico reports that Kelly is stamping his authority on a fractious West Wing by denying access to the President, making sure Trump bases his decisions on sound information.
Trump has scored a number of own goals already based on dubious reports, such as his public accusation that Barack Obama wiretapped him. This is a President who has shown disdain for his daily intelligence briefings but gorges himself on cable news, and Kelly’s unenviable job is to keep him focused.
One of Kelly’s first acts on the job, according to the AP, was to reassure Jeff Sessions that his job is safe after the President publicly criticised him. Trump is apparently “still miffed” at his Attorney General, but will not be allowed to make the mistake of firing him.
There’s clearly a new sheriff in town, and Ivanka’s assertion that she will serve “alongside” Kelly shows that she doesn’t understand the new hierarchy in the West Wing: There’s the President, then there’s John Kelly, then there’s everyone else.
General Kelly is there to instill some discipline on a wayward administration. If Ivanka Trump still thinks that her husband is going to bring peace to the Middle East or that she has a place in the new chain of command anywhere near the former Secretary of Homeland Security, then she is mistaken.
Looking forward to serving alongside John Kelly as we work for the American people. General Kelly is a true American hero. pic.twitter.com/XQLuFaS3ce
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 31, 2017