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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen speak together as they walk across the South Lawn of the White House. Andrew Harnik / AP

Chief of Staff John Kelly has had one, very public mission since he assumed his role in the White House: keep Trump in line and run a tight ship. But after just six weeks on the job, it's become clear he needs backup — so he appointed Kirstjen Nielsen as his No. 2 last Wednesday, per NYT.

His thinking: Appoint someone "who is willing to be hated," NYT's Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush write.

What she'll be doing:

  • Her official role is assistant to the president and Kelly's principal deputy.
  • Maintaining a list of the aides Kelly deems unfit to attend "serious" meetings — most notably Omarosa Manigault, who reportedly frequently drops in various meetings uninvited.
  • Sending "principals only" emails that announce internal policy and planning and, like the above, keeping unwanted folks out.

Why now: Trump's seven months in office have been anything but quiet, and Kelly recognizes he can only do so much. And as the sudden resignations and terminations continue (think: James Comey, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon), Kelly will have to make some tough decisions moving forward to keep things tame. This is easier done by adding people like Nielsen, Kelly's "brusque, no-nonsense longtime aide."

The winning strategy: "Slowly and methodically, Kelly is replacing the bomb-throwing reality-TV types Mr. Trump feels most comfortable around with competent professionals capable of stabilizing the West Wing."

Go deeper

U.S. grants temporary protected status to thousands of Venezuelans

Venezuelan citizens participate in the vote for the popular consultation in December 2020, as part of a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Doral, Florida. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Venezuelans living in the United States will be eligible to receive temporary protected status for 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled to the U.S. amid economic, political and social turmoil back home. Former President Trump, on his last full day in office, granted some protections to Venezuelans through the U.S. Deferred Enforced Departure program, but advocates and lawmakers said the move didn't go far enough.

"She-cession" threatens economic recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Decades of the slow economic progress women made catching up to men evaporated in just one year.

Why it matters: As quickly as those gains were erased, it could take much, much longer for them to return — a warning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued today.

The Week America Changed

Sandberg thought Zuckerberg was "nuts" on remote work in January 2020

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Image

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.