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Chief of Staff John Kelly Reportedly Looking to Leave White House: 'Miserable Place to Work'
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11 Jun 2018 05:28 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: John Kelly (Image source: Public domain)

 

Those revolving doors on the White House are rumored to be about to spin again. Chief of Staff John Kelly is just one of several officials considering leaving, according to The New York Times' report gathered from remarks Kelly made to visiting senators. He is rumored to have said that the White House is a "miserable place to work." 

When Donald Trump first took office, his Chief of Staff was Reince Priebus, who resigned on July 27. Kelly had initially been Trump's Secretary of Homeland Security but took over as Chief of Staff when Priebus left. Before this administration he was Commander of United States Southern Command and was in the Marine Corps for several years.

 

Trump is not concerned about a turnover in staff that is "expected to become an exodus after the November elections," The Times reports, and will get rid of people if need be and reposition the people he likes instead of hiring new people. 

Steve Bannon, former chief strategist, told The Times that the staff being in an unsure situation is by design by Trump. He prefers to do his job with "drama, action, emotional power."

 

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as an expert on White House turnover, reported that this administration's turnover rate is higher than those before Trump. His current turnover rate is 51%. 

She believes Kelly's authority with the president has been worn down with the way the president calls and consults outside advisers at an escalating rate. She feels it becomes emasculating for him.

 

"It seems as though Chief of Staff Kelly is losing power by the day," she said. "It's almost like a battery that's draining. I've not seen any presidency operate effectively without putting somebody in there that you respect and you can trust." 

It's been rumored for some time that Kelly and the president have had a difficult relationship, and it's been reported by several officials that the president once called him an "idiot."

 

At the same time Kelly is also dealing with a hacking from his time as Secretary of Homeland Security. He told his staff one of his personal email accounts had been hacked, and he believed one of his phones was compromised. 

"As we discussed in NYC about the toxic atmosphere here in the D.C. cesspool, my folks are nervous about emails you send and ask that you no longer include them on any postings," he wrote to someone who has not been identified. "FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] is real and everyday here in the cesspool, and even federal court action on personal accounts is real."

 

"Then there is hacking, which one of my personal accounts has suffered recently," he wrote, and because of that, he does "almost everything" in person or on the phone. 

It's being assumed that Kelly isn't the only one in the administration to be hacked. White House communications director Hope Hicks said before she left that she believed she'd been hacked.

 

Trump has refused to give up using his personal phone, despite Kelly banning them not too long ago. But the president still continues to use his unsecured phone, and he feels it inconveniences him to hand the phone over to security to look for vulnerabilities.

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