Donald Trump walks out of St John's Epicopal Church i Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

A New Trump?

White House infighting may be quieter since John Kelly took over as Chief of Staff and imposed more order in the West Wing. But, so long as Trump is president, orderliness will not be the administration's chief characteristic.

WASHINGTON, DC – It’s generally agreed in Washington, DC, that President Donald Trump’s presidency is entering a new phase. Defining just what that phase is, is proving to be problematic.

The widespread expectation was that the removal of Stephen Bannon – the former White House chief adviser and resident avatar of white American nationalism – would make the administration run more smoothly, mitigate (though not eliminate) infighting, and reduce the number of leaks. The internal warfare may be quieter since John Kelly took over as White House Chief of Staff and imposed more order in the West Wing. But so long as Trump is president, orderliness will not be the White House’s chief characteristic. In fact, Trump remains in frequent contact with Bannon, who is back in charge at Breitbart News.

Inevitably, by early September, after Kelly had been on the job for all of five weeks, Trump was chafing under his new chief of staff’s restrictions. Kelly has imposed tight controls over who may enter the Oval Office, listens in on most of Trump’s phone calls during office hours, and controls what pieces of paper reach the president’s desk, thus eliminating the highly ideological screeds that some staff members used to slip him.

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