Good first day for John Kelly

John Kelly, the retired four-star general, has had a good first day as White House chief of staff.

Sacking Anthony Scaramucci sets the tone: Speak like that, act like that, and you’re out.

Last week, all the signs were that the president loved Mr Scaramucci’s style. One of the reasons Reince Priebus lost the confidence of Mr Trump is that he didn’t hit out on TV. Mr Trump, we were told, loved robust counter-punchers.

This week… not so much.

Mr Kelly has made exactly the right move. Whether it can last is another matter… as I lay out in a blog post for The Telegraph….

There is now a clear chain of command from president, to Mr Kelly, to the rest.

It is a sensible move, not just for Mr Kelly’s sanity. It is an essential step to removing the air of chaos from this White House and to give it a fighting chance of ensuring everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Finding order from chaos on the battlefield is what good commanders do, as one Trump insider put it to me.

How long it will last is another matter.

We know that Mr Trump’s management style is to set competing power centres against each other. Mr Kelly may well find himself fighting his principal at every turn.

And do we really expect Ivanka to book appointments with her father by going through the corner room next to the Oval Office?

It has been a good first day for Mr Kelly. Holding his gains will test every political bone in his body.


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