Although I have to say the White House Press Secretary does an outstanding job with daily press briefings, Chief of Staff John Kelly demonstrated the amazingly good-natured finesse with which he handles those hungry little root weevils when he took the podium today.
He explained that he’d wanted to get “the lay of the land” before spending much time briefing the press but wasted no time in telling reporters about seeing story after story that’s just flat-out wrong, going so far as remarking that many in the press need to seek out better sources. He did this without steam coming out of his ears; rather, he skillfully made himself clear by maintaining a good-natured demeanor. He gave full, straight, candid answers, particularly regarding his role and the decision-making process within the White House.
He responded to accounts he’d read about his being a failure at “controlling the President,” saying this wasn’t his job at all. What he does is control the flow of information to the Oval Office to enable the President to make the most informed decisions possible. Organizing the information-gathering process is important for Trump, who laudably wants to take in as much information as he possibly can before making a decision.
As for “controlling” the President’s tweeting, he said it’s not a part of his job description. So be advised: the President is on his own there!
He told reporters his job performance shouldn’t be measured by whether or not he’s doing what they think he should be doing, assuring them that before the President makes a decision, he’s presented with well-thought-out options.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not his words served to reassure a press that’s set in permanent attack-mode. If they continue their fondness for writing highly critical but inaccurate stories, Gen. Kelly might not be quite so affable next time.
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