The first step in taming the White House, John F. Kelly believes, is installing a No. 2 who is willing to be hated.
John Kelly is fully aware of the president’s resentment about being managed, and his appeal has gradually dimmed. But Mr. Trump needs Mr. Kelly more than Mr. Kelly needs him.
Mr. Kelly, the new chief of staff and a retired Marine general, is seeking to calm the chaotic churn around the president but not to directly control his behavior.
What was supposed to be an amicable departure for the president’s chief strategist became a messy exit after public furor over the president’s response to a race-fueled melee.
The former general and new chief of staff is seeking to quell dysfunction with a suddenness and force that have upended the West Wing.