Donald Trump’s presidency is only a few months old, but his administration has been roiled by personnel issues.
The most recent point of contention appears to be the simmering rivalry between chief of staff Reince Priebus and new communications director Anthony Scaramucci that has burst into the open this week and raised new questions about Priebus’ tenure.
Now Trump has reportedly injected new uncertainty into an already fraught situation.
The New York Times reported late Thursday that Trump has openly told people he’s lost faith in Priebus.
Trump now reportedly wants to replace Priebus with “a general,” and has his eye on John Kelly, the retired four-star Marine who’s currently the secretary of homeland security. The Times reported that many of Trump’s advisers think that’s a bad idea.
Kelly, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 after a 45-year career and with the distinction of being the military’s longest-service general, was heralded when Trump picked him as homeland security chief earlier this year.
Kelly’s previous assignments and comments during the confirmation process suggested to many that he would not hesitate to “speak truth to power,” in his words, and perhaps moderate some of Trump’s positions.
Many have greeted his first months with dismay, however.
Kelly, who oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol, has been one of the targets of criticism for the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies. Kelly’s own statements, like his suggestion the US could separate women and children who cross the border illegally, as well as his role in building Trump’s border wall, have also attracted ire on both sides of the border.
But Kelly’s reassignment to the White House remains a hypothetical. The president has flirted with a number of personnel changes but made few.
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