Stories

John Kelly closes the Oval Office door

Alex Brandon / AP

The door to the Oval Office used to be wide open, with favored officials drifting in and out — even in the middle of meetings — to kibitz with Trump.

Now, the door is closed. Gen. John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff, has taken control in dramatic fashion, and is already imposing unmistakable signs of order after just a few days on the job:

  • Even POTUS appears to be trying to impress his four-star handler, picking up his game by acting sharper in meetings and even rattling off stats.
  • Meetings are shorter and stick to their scheduled topic.
  • Everyone — even uber-aides Jared and Ivanka, and economic adviser Gary Cohn — is being deferential to Kelly.

Be smart: The most consequential workplace in America has been one of the most dysfunctional. General Kelly took an instantly assertive tack, and some of the overt shenanigans stopped overnight.

But the ultimate boss has no plans to really change. (Yesterday he tweeted: "Only the Fake News Media and Trump enemies want me to stop using Social Media (110 million people). Only way for me to get the truth out!") And the new internal order will remain only as long as he plays along.