Also, do you still have that pickup? You free this weekend? Just wondering.

Here's some interesting, entirely coincidental timing: A couple weeks back, Vanity Fair's White House guy, Gabe Sherman, wrote a piece about the increasing tensions between Donald Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump, in full petulant toddler mode, has been increasingly unhappy with Kelly being portrayed -- and pushing himself -- as the adult in the White House (dubious though that image may be). Trump reportedly told a friend on one of his please-love-me calls, "I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things" and said to another, "This guy thinks he’s running the show." Sherman also reported that Ivanka Trump was helping out her dad with the important task of finding a new chief of staff before this one's even cold.

Then on Tuesday, Sherman brought us another story about turmoil in the West Wing, with Trump apparently wanting a big staff shake-up in hopes of finally finding someone who will rid him of that turbulent special prosecutor, since the wet fart Devin Nunes memo didn't do the job. Once more, we learn Ivanka is pushing especially hard to "bring in new blood," and that she wants Kelly and several others gone:

“She wants to clean house,” a Trump friend told me. “Her view is J.F.K. had Bobby there to have his back.”

While that story isn't primarily about Kelly, he's the target of one of the cattier insider quotes; a "Republican close to the White House" said Trump is frustrated with Kelly because "It’s like Kelly views Trump as a mushroom. He wants to keep him in the dark and feed him a bunch of shit," a line that's every bit as funny today as it was when it first appeared on a cute office plaque in 1988 or so.

As it happens, between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, two separate publications, the Daily Mail and the Intercept, ran stories revealing allegations of spousal abuse against White House staff secretary Rob Porter, one of Kelly's top aides and, with Kelly, the guy who did the most to control what information was seen by Trump in the Oval Office. Outside office hours, he can watch all the Fox News he wants, because he's a big boy with his own remote and three TVs in his cheeseburger-stank bedroom.

Isn't it awfully convenient that two different outlets both happened to get the Porter story on the very same day, with each duly noting that the FBI was aware of the reports of domestic violence, which is likely why Porter never received a permanent security clearance? No security clearance in a job where handling classified material is part of the daily work, huh? That leaky White House sure does leak, and it doesn't take a political mastermind to call up a couple of reporters to say "Oh, hi, just on deep background here, did you know this guy beats his wife and John Kelly knew about it? Kthxbai!" We're not saying the calls came from Ivanka, but EVERYONE in this White House seems to be playing the media, trying to boost their own agenda and insisting everyone else in the White House is Hitler. It's an especially handy strategy since everyone in this White House really is Hitler. Except maybe Kellyanne Conway, who's more of a Goebbels.

Kelly hasn't exactly come off as the Wise Elder in this mess, either. His initial statement to the Daily Mail didn't even address the allegations of spousal abuse:

Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante, and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.

According to CNN, Hope Hicks, who is reportedly dating Porter, helped draft that statement. Hope, dear, you need to think about all this very carefully. And run like hell.

Late last night, Kelly -- the nice man who thinks women should be venerated unless they say something bad about Donald Trump -- suddenly noticed that calling a wife-beater a "man of true integrity" wasn't playing so well, so he issued a new statement about the guy he already knew couldn't get a security clearance because of said abuse:

I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition.

Oh yeah, domestic violence bad. The ladies get all het up about that, don't they?

Now, whoever leaked the story about Porter couldn't have expected John Kelly to fall on Porter's dick, but he did and that's icing op the push-Kelly-out-the-door cake. Even if Kelly had convinced Porter to stay and fight, the day two stories would all have been about the spouse abuser who's John Kelly's righthand man. Instead, Kelly looks like an even bigger jerk, a guy who defended an abuser far too long before accepting his resignation and remembering wife-beating is bad.

But gosh, who on earth could possibly be trying to put the kibosh on John Kelly? We may never know, but in a story on White House staff who were amazed Kelly went to the mat for Porter, Gabe Sherman notes,

Kelly has told people that Porter has a “calming effect” on White House operations. For instance, it’s Porter who screens all the information that gets to Trump’s desk. Porter also helped Kelly conduct a West Wing organizational study that provided Kelly with a cudgel to sideline Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, two former West Wing officials told me.

Somebody should check to see what John Barron thinks about all this.

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[Vanity Fair / Vanity Fair / Daily Mail / Intercept / New York / Vanity Fair]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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