Donald Trump's growing tendency to keep only his own counsel has left White House Chief of Staff John Kelly increasingly out in the cold.
Kelly — brought on last summer to impose discipline on an unruly West Wing and its commander in chief — wasn't at the president's side when Trump abruptly decided to oust H.R. McMaster as national security adviser.
He's rarely on the line when Trump phones foreign leaders, such as the call to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election.
His absence at those two key moments last week highlights his struggles in managing a White House in turmoil, Jennifer Jacobs writes.
Kelly's latest task was delivering bad news yesterday — telling Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin he was being replaced with the president's physician, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. Yet White House aides say that Trump doesn't seek Kelly's input on staffing and policy decisions as much as he once did.
While there's no immediate sign the president wants to get rid of his chief of staff, Kelly appears to have little idea what's coming next from his boss — a man known for snap decisions.
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