Kelly’s Rules for Trump’s West Wing: Stop Bickering, Get in Early, Make an Appointment

Kelly’s Rules for Trump’s West Wing: Stop Bickering, Get in Early, Make an Appointment by Michael C. Bender and Rebecca Ballhaus - Wall Street Journal

In the Oval Office earlier this week, a small group of senior officials talked with President Donald Trump about plans to take on Beijing over intellectual-property theft. When a side debate broke out between two top aides, the new White House chief of staff ordered the pair out of the room.

Return, John Kelly told them, once your differences are resolved, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

The move kept the meeting on track. It also signaled to top staff that Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star general, planned to bring new order and discipline to a West Wing that has been riven for six months with division and disorganization.

After one week, other signs of Mr. Kelly’s taking the reins include the end of the unchecked flow of paperwork that crosses the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, and a new, more formal process for meeting with the president, according to interviews with more than two dozen White House officials, the president’s informal advisers, associates of Mr. Kelly, members of Congress and Capitol Hill aides.

The new rules extend to Mr. Trump’s family. Son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump, who serve as official advisers in the White House and have their own staffs, now report to Mr. Kelly instead of directly to the president, as does chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Staffers no longer loiter outside an open Oval Office door, hoping to catch the president’s eye to be waved in for a chat or the chance to pitch a new idea. That door is now closed…

Read on.

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