White House seeks to allay Chief of Staff concerns about immediate personnel changes

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly descends the stairs of Air Force One after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California. U.S., March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Vastavam Web: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly assured aides to President Donald Trump on Friday that no immediate personnel changes were in the works, as he sought to tamp down a wave of uncertainty generated by persistent indications Trump wants more turnover.Days after firing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump has been talking to confidants about making changes, including replacing H.R. McMaster as national security adviser and David Shulkin as Veterans Affairs secretary, sources familiar with the conversations told Reuters this week.Sanders also said Trump told her on Thursday night he had “no intention” of replacing McMaster, after the Washington Post reported that a move to force McMaster out was imminent.

“The president said that it was not accurate and he had no intention of changing, that they had a great working relationship and he looked forward to continue working with him,” Sanders said.Whether the reassuring words from Kelly and Sanders would calm staff nerves was far from clear. Trump himself has fed the narrative of chaos inside the White House.Sources familiar with Trump’s view of McMaster say he grates on the president’s nerves sometimes because of his button-downed style and finds his briefings to be too long and academic.

He has grown unhappy with Shulkin over an internal watchdog’s finding that the secretary had his wife’s airfare paid for by taxpayers during an official trip to Europe last year, a White House official said.A Trump confidant told Reuters that the president is being cautioned to go slow because if he makes too many changes too quickly, it furthers an image of instability at the White House.

“He’s very much of the notion that he wants to do it all,” the confidant said. “What he’s figured out over the last 15 months is his gut is the one he trusts the most.”