Republicans call on Trump to rein in chaos at the White House

  • 31/07/2017
It's been a big bad week for Donald Trump.
It's been a big bad week for Donald Trump. Photo credit: Getty

Republicans are urging President Donald Trump's new chief of staff John Kelly to rein in the chaos within the White House but say the retired Marine Corps general will be challenged to assert control.

In his first six months in office, Mr Trump has upended White House convention with a loose decision-making style and an open-door policy to his Oval Office for advisers, both internal and external. Infighting among his senior staff has become bitter and public.

"He's going to have to reduce the drama, reduce both the sniping within and reduce the leaks, and bring some discipline to the relationships," Karl Rove, a Republican strategist and former White House adviser to George W. Bush, said on Fox News Sunday.

Mr Trump announced Mr Kelly would replace his embattled chief of staff Reince Priebus at the end of a particularly chaotic week that saw his first legislative effort - healthcare reform - fail in Congress.

On top of the healthcare debacle, Mr Trump came under fire for banning transgender people from the military, and was pilloried for politicising a speech he made to the Boy Scouts.

Adding fuel to the fire, his new communications director Anthony Scaramucci unleashed a string of profane criticism about Mr Priebus and Mr Trump strategist Steven Bannon to a New Yorker magazine reporter.

Republicans welcomed Mr Trump's decision to bring in Mr Kelly, who starts on Monday.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said he thought Mr Priebus had been effective "but was probably a little bit more laid back" in the way he ran the office.

It is not yet clear whether all of Mr Trump's senior staff will answer to Mr Kelly. Some members, including Mr Scaramucci and senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway, report directly to Mr Trump, a structure which gives them more power.

"I will do whatever the president and our new chief of staff General Kelly ask me to do," Ms Conway told Fox News Sunday.

Trump's tumultuous week

  • Trump's first legislative effort - healthcare reform - flounders and fails
  • Trump's communications director profanely bad-mouths senior Trump staff - to a journalist
  • Trump fires the man criticised in the profane conversation, not the communications director behind the profanity
  • Trump criticised for 'politicising' a speech to Scouts
  • Trump under fire for banning transgender people from the military