A juicy insider report from the sleuths at Vanity Fair has the internet abuzz. The rumor? That our fearless leader and his Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly, may be headed for splitsville in the not-too-distant future… and that First Daughter Ivanka Trump is heading up the search for his replacement.
In a super gossipy report published yesterday on the magazine’s website, reporter Gabriel Sherman claims that the at-times rocky relationship between President Trump and Kelly has reached a breaking point.
“I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump told a friend, according to the report.
Kelly, who is a retired four-star general, has developed a reputation as something of an enforcer within the administration, creating order out of chaos and keeping the president in line. An in-depth report by the New York Times published late last year painted the president as heavily dependent on Kelly:
“He calls Mr. Kelly up to a dozen times a day, even four or five times during dinner or a golf outing, to ask about his schedule or seek policy advice, according to people who have spoken with the president.”
Not surprisingly, our Trump’s delicate ego doesn’t like it when people think the president is being handled and controlled by his staff.
Kelly has done little to temper the situation in recent weeks. In an interview on Fox News last week, Kelly said that Trump’s position on the border wall had “evolved” since taken office, a statement that reportedly did not please Trump in the least. Kelly further aggravated the situation by telling Democratic lawmakers that the president was “uninformed” when he promised the wall would be built. Trump responded by deploying his weapon of choice and lashing out on Twitter: “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”
According to a Times report, Trump and Kelly subsequently had it out in private. Kelly later appeared on Fox News, telling the hosts, “I’m in it for the long haul.”
Not so, says Vanity Fair. The magazine claims that Trump is now thinking about picking a successor. He’s apparently considering David Urban, a seasoned Washington lobbyist who was instrumental in Trump’s win in Pennsylvania. Ivanka is also reportedly on the case, working on ideas for replacements for her dad’s beleaguered top aide.
The report is getting major news traction, but in an appearance Tuesday morning on Fox News (where else?), White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in full denial mode.
“I would not use Vanity Fair for much other than a coaster,” professed Huckabee Sanders, much to the delight of Fox’s preening morning hosts. She went on to shower her audience in the expected platitudes, ensuring the public that the two men are “in it for the long haul” and “working well together.”
Then she decided to tear the lamestream media a new one.
“The press loves to pick — every single week there’s another one of us leaving,” said Sanders. “We’ll see what fake news is pushing next week on whose departure.”
What do you think of Vanity Fair‘s claim? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Oliver Douliery + Andrew Harrer / Pool-Getty)