In his first month on the job, White House chief of staff John Kelly has made significant progress toward imposing discipline on a chaotic operation, even as it’s clear he still struggles to have the same effect on the president himself.
The White House is a less contentious place and decision-making is becoming more orderly under Kelly’s thumb, according to more than a dozen people interviewed by The Associated Press, including White House officials, outside advisers and others who work regularly with the administration. They say a group of more experienced advisers — including a trio of generals — is increasingly holding sway. And they describe a process in which Kelly has successfully limited dissenting voices, restricted access to the president and “stacked the deck” on major decisions to guide him toward an outcome. This new Afghanistan war strategy announced this week was a chief example of the process.