President Donald Trump may have yet to succeed in getting his big, beautiful wall built on the nation’s southern border. But thanks to a concerted effort among members of the political establishment who believe he never should have been elected, there’s a less noticeable wall being constructed around the current administration’s Oval Office.
From now on, Trump is only to seek input from establishment approved aids and consultants.
And for Trump supporters who saw his administration as an opportunity for Washington outsiders to make their mark on national policy, the current state of affairs is a real shame.
So what happened? Well, it would seem the name of the hour is John Kelly.
In late July, Kelly took over from former RNC chairman Reince Preibus as President Trump’s White House chief of staff. He’s now in charge of just about everything the president sees and hears– and, by extension, he largely holds the key to what the president is going to think about any given situation.
Kelly, according to reports, has the West Wing on lock down… at least when it comes to access for the kind of “outsiders” Trump’s administration promised to empower in Washington.
People have begun to take note of the changes within the White House. It was, of course, hard to miss that things were changing when the administration abruptly cut ties with conservative strategist Steve Bannon, who was largely credited with creating the populist conservative message that got Trump elected.
Late last month, former UN Ambassador John Bolton declared that he is one of many people the president is no longer permitted to meet with as the establishment regains order in Washington.
He wrote in a National Review op-ed, revealing a plan for Iran he’d personally drafted before he and others were pushed out for approved replacements:
Although candidate Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, his administration has twice decided to remain in the deal. It so certified to Congress, most recently in July, as required by law. Before the second certification, Trump asked repeatedly for alternatives to acquiescing yet again in a policy he clearly abhorred. But no such options were forthcoming, despite “a sharp series of exchanges” between the president and his advisers, as the New York Times and similar press reports characterized it.
Many outside the administration wondered how this was possible: Was Trump in control, or were his advisers? Defining a compelling rationale to exit Obama’s failed nuclear deal and elaborating a game plan to do so are quite easy. In fact, Steve Bannon asked me in late July to draw up just such a game plan for the president — the option he didn’t have — which I did.
Here it is. It is only five pages long, but like instant coffee, it can be readily expanded to a comprehensive, hundred-page playbook if the administration were to decide to leave the Iran agreement. There is no need to wait for the next certification deadline in October. Trump can and should free America from this execrable deal at the earliest opportunity.
I offer the Iran nonpaper now as a public service, since staff changes at the White House have made presenting it to President Trump impossible. Although he was once kind enough to tell me “come in and see me any time,” those days are now over. Read More…
Journalist Mike Cernovich noted Bolton’s declaration and, after having conversations with dozens of Washington insiders, declared it a clear indication that Trump has been brought to heel.
“So I’d heard from people that Trump is on house arrest,” Cernovich told Breitbart, “I thought ‘oh c’mon, the President of the United States, that’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard’, but I kept digging into it and I kept hearing the same thing over and over again and then, of course, John Bolton wrote his column for National Review and he’s begging people to retweet it, he said ‘this is the only way the President is gonna see it,’ and I’ll say Alex, I don’t really understand, how can Trump not see who he wants to see? This is something I don’t really fully comprehend within the White House. I have talked to a lot of people, it’s a very weird situation.”
Now, we’re seeing even more evidence that Washington’s real rulers have their leash firmly around the president’s neck.
The Daily Beast reports that Washington outsider Sheriff David Clarke got pushed off a short list for an administration job by… guess who:
Officials in the West Wing tell The Daily Beast that Clarke had been in consideration for a White House post over the past seven weeks. But on Tuesday, the controversial former Milwaukee County lawman signed on with an outside group instead. He will serve as a spokesman and “senior adviser” for the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.
Four sources working in and close to the Trump White House said his failure to land a gig in the West Wing or at the Department of Homeland Security, where Clarke unsuccessfully sought a job earlier this year, was in large part the result of opposition from White House chief of staff John Kelly. Kelly led DHS until late July.
And Bloomberg on Tuesday relayed that Trump was “crushed” to learn that his longtime bodyguard would be leaving his side:
President Donald Trump’s allies are worried that the most damaging of the many recent departures from his White House may be that of Keith Schiller, a little-known former bodyguard who’s one of the president’s closest confidants outside his family.
Schiller is leaving the White House soon to return to the private security business, according to three people familiar with his plans, for a job that will pay far more than his $165,000 government salary. His title, director of Oval Office operations, hardly begins to describe his importance to Trump, who is “crushed” by his planned departure, according to one person close to the president.
Multiple people interviewed described Schiller as an emotional anchor for the president in a White House often marked by turmoil. Schiller has worked for Trump for nearly two decades, and within the West Wing he serves as the president’s protector, gate-keeper and wing man, according to people close to Schiller and Trump. Most of the people requested anonymity to candidly discuss relationships between the president and his aides.
“He’s a confidant and friend,” said Stuart Jolly, a former national field director for Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump “trusts Keith, and Keith trusts him. Trust is a really big deal at that level.”
Schiller has also acted as Trump’s hatchet-man. It was Schiller who told James Comey that the president had decided to fire him as FBI director. Two weeks ago, after Trump was angered by preparations for a rally in Phoenix, Schiller delivered the message to another longtime aide, George Gigicos, that Trump no longer wanted him to organize such events, according to three people familiar with the matter.
In a buried lede, the outlet pointed out that Kelly is also at the center of Schiller’s departure:
Schiller has told friends that working under Kelly is very different, and that he doesn’t like the job as much. He has said he believes that Kelly doesn’t like Trump personally and is serving as chief of staff predominantly out of a sense of duty to country, according to three people familiar with his views. That has been deeply demoralizing for Schiller, who is accustomed to Trump being surrounded by devoted employees, two people said.
Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general who previously headed the United States Southern Command, is definitely tied to the Washington power structure that existed in DC long before Trump took residence in the city.
And did you catch that bit about how Kelly doesn’t even like Trump from the Bloomberg piece? He’s only taken the job because of “duty to country.” The same “duty to country” has evidently made him see fit to purge the White House of Trump loyalists. Perhaps the next step on his agenda is putting in place the machinations to purge the country of Trump? A coup of sorts. And that may seem outlandish– but mainstream liberals and members of the Washington elite have been openly flirting with the idea since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election.