Generalissimo White House Chief of Staff
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is out, Trump tweeting the news.
His 6-month tenure was the shortest ever for a White House chief of staff during the early months of a new administration.
Retired four-star Marine Corps General/current DHS Secretary John Kelly replaces him, reportedly given assurance by Trump that everything and everyone in the White House goes through him.
An unnamed senior administration official called him “the new alpha dog.” His presence in the West Wing puts the Pentagon closer to the seat of power than already.
During his first six months in office, Trump replaced his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, communications director, press secretary, national security advisor and deputy national security advisor.
Is his attorney general next, maybe his secretary of state and others to follow?
As chief of staff, Kelly will serve as assistant to the president and White House gatekeeper.
He’ll manage Trump’s schedule, decide who sees him, select and supervise White House staff, manage information for the president, protect his interests, advise him on various issues, along with dealing with Congress and other executive branch members.
In 1946, the position of assistant to the president was established. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower appointed former congressman/New Hampshire governor Sherman Adams as White House Chief of Staff.
Jack Kennedy eschewed the designation, relying instead on a special assistant/appointments secretary. Lyndon Johnson operated the same way.
Earlier well-known chiefs of staff included Nixon’s Bob Haldeman and Alexander Haig (later Reagan’s defense secretary) Gerald Ford’s Dick Cheney (later GW Bush’s vice president), Ford’s Donald Rumsfeld (later GW Bush’s defense secretary), Bill Clinton’s John Podesta (later Hillary’s campaign chairman), GW Bush’s Andrew Card, and Obama’s Rahm Emanuel (current Chicago mayor).
Before becoming DHS secretary, Kelly was US Southern Command head. Earlier he was commanding general in charge of the Multi-National Force – West in Iraq.
He’s a 40-year Marine Corps veteran, serving from 1970 to 2016. Trump calls him one of “my generals…a true star of my administration,” reportedly appointed chief of staff to impose discipline in the White House.
As DHS head, he waged war on undocumented (largely Latino) immigrants. They’ve been hunted down, rounded up, held in detention under deplorable conditions and deported, dividing families, harming communities, enforcing tougher policies than Obama’s ruthless ones.
According to America’s Voice director Frank Sharry, Kelly “turned out to be an expert at throwing sand in the faces of Congress and the public, good at defending his undisciplined agents, and excellent at advancing Trump’s mass deportation strategy.”
Earlier responding to congressional critics of Trump’s immigration enforcement policy, Kelly said “(i)f lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce, then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws.”
“Otherwise they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.’’
Critics justifiably say DHS is heavy-handed, brutal and extrajudicial against individuals guilty only of being undocumented. No human being is illegal.
Kelly may have a hard time as White House chief of staff, dealing with West Wing officials with minds of their own, congressional critics of Trump’s agenda, and media scoundrels relentlessly hounding him.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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