But while the president has offered Kelly a level of control Priebus never managed to obtain, Trump has resisted giving his new chief of staff veto power over the spontaneous and provocative tweets that often serve as a distraction for his administration.
A series of news reports suggesting Kelly had sought oversight of Trump’s Twitter account, including a report that claimed Kelly wanted to know in advance what the president planned to post, made their way to Trump’s desk last week, a person familiar with the situation told the Washington Examiner.
Trump “was pissed when he read Kelly wanted to control his Twitter feed,” the person said.
Stories about palace intrigue based on anonymous sources are suspect right out of the gate. But they do provide data points with which to analyze the nature of the warring factions. This story takes care to note that Kelly was authorized to fire anyone except “Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, and chief strategist Steve Bannon.” It’s not unreasonable to assume that the source is connected to one of those three camps, and using this leak to push back at Kelly’s restriction of their access to Trump.
In any event, if Kelly isn’t trying to control Trump’s Twitter usage, I’d be surprised — just as I’d be surprised if Trump didn’t resist such a move. As I have noted previously, it’s not a good look to be endlessly tweeting like a jackass about issues of personal pique, while the American people continue to suffer from your stalled legislative agenda. But Trump doesn’t seem to care about any of that.
In the end, the notion that Kelly is going to bring discipline to Trump is fanciful. We all knew it, but I guess it makes for a cute little side drama.
Ah, well. Maybe Kelly can at least help stop Trump from talking us into nuclear war. If he can perform even that one small service, maybe the change will have been worth it.