Donald Trump separates himself from his chief of staff John Kelly – Le Monde

John Kelly, on the right, May 4, 2018.
John Kelly, right, May 4, 2018. Carlos Barria / REUTERS

The former general of the marine " finally let go. Donald Trump announced on Saturday 8 December that John Kelly, " head of staff » (Chief of Staff) of the White House, an essential gear of executive power, will leave power in the coming weeks. "He's a good boy", added the president of the United States, ensuring that he has "Much appreciated its services". Donald Trump did not hide after the mid-term elections, during which he lost a majority in the House of Representatives, intending to remix his team.

The 68-year-old former military minister, who was in the president's first cabinet as secretary of internal security, took over the White House in July 2017 to try and remedy his dysfunction. Later he replaced the Republican Party leader, Reince Priebus, who lacked the authority to arbitrate among the poles of power put in competition by Donald Trump.

A year and a half later, John Kelly's departure testifies to his failure. As for the other heavyweights of the administration, this departure was preceded, for weeks, by "leaks" that announced that they could only undermine what remained of the authority. The former soldier tried in vain to limit the president's access to prevent the dispersal. But he constantly clashed with the first councilors, often outside the White House.

Strikes on immigration

the New York Times reported in October, based on anonymous sources, that an altercation with the first director of Donald Trump's election campaign during the presidential elections, Corey Lewandowski, virtually shot in February, required the intervention of Secret Service » charged with protecting the president. A few months later, the " head of staff » This time, national security adviser John Bolton met with a vigorous exchange of words, according to the US press, but denied by the White House.

The exchange concerned the fight against immigration currently run by a close friend of John Kelly, Kirsten Nielsen, who succeeded him to the Department of Homeland Security. Donald Trump has regularly questioned his alleged inefficiency, given the increase in recent months of the arrest of undocumented migrants, probably the best indicator of this illegal immigration. The fate of this is now very uncertain.

Unstable administration

The administration of Donald Trump is already among the most unstable in recent decades. The renewal of positions reached an unprecedented 62%, less than two years after the arrival of the billionaire at the White House. Far from the 38% measured for Bill Clinton, 33% by George W. Bush and 24% by Barack Obama according to the observatory of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

The departure of John Kelly therefore reduces the presence of former soldiers around Donald Trump. At the start of the year, they held three strategic positions: head of staff »Counselor for National Security, H. McMaster and finally Secretary of Defense, with the first marine " James Mattis. The latter is now the last survivor of the group and also his future at the head of the Pentagon is uncertain. According to the American press, he failed to impose his candidate for the position of chief of staff who will become vacant at the end of next year.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also John Kelly, chief fuse of the White House

Gilles Paris (Washington, correspondent)

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