In the post-Scaramucci press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is asked by Fox News’ John Roberts, “Was it something about the chain of command or did it have anything to do with that interview that Scaramucci did last week?”
She replied, “Look, the President certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position and he didn’t want to burden General Kelly also with that line of succession. As I think we’ve made clear a few times over the course of the last couple of days to several of you individually, General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House and all staff will report to him.”
Roberts clarifies that the line of succession she was referring to was the direct reporting by Scaramucci to the President. He notes comments by the Kushners that they “look forward to following General Kelly’s lead,” asking “When it comes to the people who have access to the President, will that conduit be narrowed down now, will everything flow through Kelly or will some things still flow around the chief of staff’s office?”
Sanders reiterated, “As I just said, the President’s given full authority to General Kelly and he’ll make those determinations.” Asked by another reporter if that includes Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, she again replies that “General Kelly has the full authority to carry out business as he sees fit.”
Clearly those decision are being left up to Kelly, who may make some exceptions if he deems it to be appropriate, at his own discretion. President Trump has already been accomplishing quite a bit, even with the distractions of his open door policy.
Trump’s recognition of the shortcomings of such broad and random access is likely playing into this decision as well. We may well be amazed at the amount of productivity that will be coming out of a properly managed Trump White House, one where interruptions and distractions are minimized, there is a zero tolerance policy for leaks, and more of a distinction is made between family members and conducting the people’s business.
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