Kelly Tells White House Staff Their Jobs Are Safe

White House chief of staff John Kelly told members of President Donald Trump’s senior staff on Friday that their West Wing jobs are safe — a simple but necessary message after a week of heightened tumult in the administration, Bloomberg informed.

The assurance from the chief of staff was intended to silence whispers about a looming purge of Trump’s top aides and Cabinet. But it came accompanied by a plea to stop the cycle of backstabbing and gossip within the White House that’s fueled speculation the President will make major changes, according to two officials who asked not to be identified discussing an internal meeting.

“The chief of staff actually spoke to a number of staff this morning, reassuring them there were no immediate personnel changes at this time and that people shouldn’t be concerned,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a briefing. “We should do exactly what we do every day, and that’s come to work and do the very best job that we can.”

Recent high-profile departures, including the firings of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s personal aide, John McEntee, earlier this week, fed a sense in the White House that everyone was vulnerable and anyone might go. Those dismissals followed the recent high-profile resignations of chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and Communications Director Hope Hicks, compounding the sense that sweeping change was afoot.

White House staffers are exhausted after a dizzying week of personnel changes both real and rumored, one official said.

It appeared that turmoil finally had caught up to a President who courts it, distracting from his agenda and unnerving allies both in Congress and in foreign capitals. Trump has publicly stoked speculation that Tillerson’s departure was only part of an effort to reshape his inner circle, and he’s floated possible staff replacements by a cadre of friends and outside advisers.

“I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want,” Trump said Tuesday after the formal announcement of Tillerson’s ouster. In a press conference a week earlier, Trump said there would be “people that change” within his administration.

Kelly himself has been a subject of some of the rumors, though he appears to be safe for now. Various Cabinet members who have generated negative headlines because of their expensive travel habits and furnishing tastes, including Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Ben Carson and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, have been reported to draw the President’s ire.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to be a subject of Trump’s scorn on Twitter.

Kelly’s assurances to his staff on Friday were directed particularly at young aides without much experience in government, one person familiar with the matter said. The departure of McEntee — a well-liked young staffer constantly at the President’s side, responsible for everything from resetting clocks in the West Wing to keeping hair spray at the ready — was especially jarring for colleagues in his generation, the person said.

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