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President Donald Trump stands with John Kelly. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threatened to quit on March 28, according to sources familiar with the events.

What I'm hearing: Kelly blew up at Trump in an Oval Office meeting that day, and while walking back to his office muttered he was going to quit. Sources said it was not related to the David Shulkin firing that happened the same day.

A senior administration official said that calling it a threat was "probably too strong, it was more venting frustration." Kelly often says he doesn't have to be there and didn't seek the job originally.

Details:

  • Kelly packed up some personal belongings, though I'm told that wasn't necessarily because he was walking out. 
  • He was fired up enough that colleagues got allies to call in to calm him down. 
  • At one point DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — perhaps the person in the administration he trusts most — came over to talk him off the ledge. 

Context: Kelly has verbally threatened to quit more than once over the past eight months.

Why it matters: Very few people inside this White House feel secure or satisfied, given the wild, unpredictable mood and policy changes of Trump. Kelly months ago restored some order and sanity to the place but most of that is gone. 

Get more stories like this by signing up for our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker