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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Photo: Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty Images

A "physical altercation" between White House chief of staff John Kelly and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski outside the Oval Office in February, during which Kelly grabbed Lewandowski by the collar and attempted to throw him out of the West Wing, got so heated that Secret Service had to get involved, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers report.

Why it matters: The incident, which reportedly occurred at the time when Kelly’s future at the White House was being questioned, is “the latest illustration of the often chaotic atmosphere” in the Trump White House, Haberman and Rogers write. They also describe it as a "reflection of the degree to which Mr. Kelly’s temper can be provoked."

What happened: Citing six people familiar with the matter, Haberman and Rogers said that both men were in President Trump's office when Kelly leveled criticism against Lewandowski for making money off the super PAC associated with the president’s re-election.

  • Kelly also reportedly complained about Lewandowski criticizing him on TV for his handling of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter's exit.
  • Both men had reportedly left the room before the "near brawl" began. According to the Times' sources, Lewandowski never got physical.

While Lewandowski still travels with Trump on Air Force One and meets with him at the White House, sources told the Times that West Wing aides try to ensure Lewandowski stays out of Kelly’s corner of the West Wing.

Flashback: This is not the first time Kelly got into a physical altercation. Axios' Jonathan Swan reported earlier this year that Kelly and a Secret Service agent scuffled with Chinese security officials over the nuclear "football" during a trip to China last year.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.