Skip to Content
wgbh News


Can Gen. John Kelly Press The Reset Button On The White House?

President Donald Trump talks with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after he was privately sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office with Trump, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington.
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Can General John Kelly push the reset button on a chaos-plagued White House?

Since his appointment as chief of staff Monday, there have been some signs that the retired general has brought more discipline to the West Wing. He insisted that Trump fire former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci after a vulgarity-filled rant to The New Yorker, and he ended the "open door" policy in the Oval Office. 

But host of "The SCIF" podcast and homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem says no one should expect a major policy shift from this leadership change.

"[Kelly]'s also an enabler," she said. "Let's not forget that as Secretary of Homeland Security, he really did successfully effectuate some of the most draconian aspects of what you might call the Trump agenda, in particular, related to the wall and to the immigration enforcement. He defended Jared Kushner's back channel. He was a strong supporter of the Muslim ban."

Kayyem continued, "an untethered president will become more tethered, that's at best. The policies won't change." 

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.