When John Kelly took the position of chief of staff in the White House, he didn’t have high hopes for Donald Trump, but he was nonetheless surprised by what he discovered there.
Halfway through Trump’s first year, the retired U.S. Marine Corps general moved into the White House, and Michael Schmidt of the New York Times spoke on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about what Kelly discovered about the previous president and his skills.
“So when Kelly came in as chief of staff, he thought that the problem around Trump was that he was not staffed properly and they needed to create a process around him, and that’s what the chaos of the first six months of the administration was about,” Schmidt said. “But when Kelly comes in as chief of staff, what he realizes is that the problem is not just the fact that there’s not a process and that he’s not being staffed as well as he could, but that Trump himself was the problem, that Trump was far dumber and immoral and ignorant and lazy than he ever thought he was.”
“Within a few days, he becomes terrified because here he is, the top staffer to the president of the United States, and he’s realizing that the president of the United States is far more limited and potentially dangerous than he ever thought, and at that point, there was no one else to call,” Schmidt added.
“He was — it was just him and Trump, and he basically spends the next 18 months trying to manage Trump as much as he could.”
During Trump’s presidency Kelly became so enraged by Trump’s initial refusal to lower the flags for McCain that he issued a vulgar threat against him, reports Axios.
The book also includes a profanity-laced brawl between Trump and an enraged then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joe Dunford, after Trump accused American generals of being “fcking leakers,” to which Dunford responded, “We’re not fcking leakers.”
The Divider, a book by Baker and Glasser, will be released on September 20th.
In an effort to deal with Trump’s odd conduct, Kelly also covertly purchased a book in which 27 mental health doctors cautioned that the president was psychologically unsuited for the job.
A new book by Susan Glasser of the New Yorker and Peter Baker of the New York Times reports on John Kelly’s covert acquisition. “The Divider: Trump in the Oval Office, 2017–2021” will be released the following week. A copy was obtained by The Guardian.
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the book Kelly purchased, was a best-seller in that year. Bandy Lee, a Yale psychiatrist at the time, was its editor in January 2018.
“While we keep within the letter of the Goldwater rule – which prohibits psychiatrists from diagnosing public figures without a personal examination and without consent – there is still a lot that mental health professionals can tell before the public reaches awareness,” Bandy Lee wrote.
“These come from observations of a person’s patterns of responses, of media appearances over time, and from reports of those close to him. Indeed, we know far more about Trump in this regard than many, if not most, of our patients.
Nevertheless, the personal health of a public figure is her private affair – until, that is, it becomes a threat to public health,” she added.