Thursday, July 13, 2023

the last book I ever read (The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, excerpt nine)

from The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser:

While on Air Force One heading back to Washington after the speech, with Priebus on board, Trump placed a phone call to John Kelly. The president reminded him about a conversation they had after James Comey’s firing when Kelly had commented on how his White House was so messed up and how ill-served he had been. “You’re right,” Trump told him, “the staff is terrible.” On and on the president went: His aides were “not good for me.” They were not loyal. They were all fucked up. “You need to come here and be chief of staff,” Trump told him. Kelly demurred. “John, I really need you to do this,” Trump said. After Kelly hesitated some more, Trump concluded, “Okay, how about this: Come in and see me on Monday and we’ll talk about it.” Kelly agreed. Minutes later, Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews and the president’s staff, including Priebus, disembarked into a miserable rain that seemed to symbolize the dark moment.

At 4:49 p.m., Trump, while still on board, sent out a series of tweets. “I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” the president wrote. “He has been a true star of my Administration.” Trump had not only publicly announced Kelly was taking a job he had not accepted, the president had not bothered to inform Priebus either. Sitting in a White House car on the tarmac waiting for the motorcade ride back to the office, Priebus looked down at his phone to discover that he had just been kicked to the curb. Soon after, Trump exited the plane and his motorcade pulled out.

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