WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump swore in his new chief of staff, John Kelly, on Monday and sought to portray his White House as firing on all cylinders by pointing to the buoyant stock market and low unemployment rate.
Trump brought in Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, after a chaotic week in which his first legislative effort – healthcare reform – failed in Congress, heightening concerns in his Republican Party that West Wing dysfunction would derail other priorities like tax reform.
Kelly is expected to bring a more disciplined approach to running Trump’s White House. He replaced Reince Priebus, who failed to mesh with the president’s freewheeling and untraditional management style and grappled with infighting during his six months in the job.
Trump showed off his new chief of staff in the Oval Office and in a Cabinet meeting where he praised Kelly for averting controversy during his tenure overseeing border security issues at the Department of Homeland Security.
“He will do a spectacular job, I have no doubt, as chief of staff,” the president said in the Oval Office, surrounded by his senior advisers, after Kelly was sworn in.
“With a very controversial situation, there’s been very little controversy, which is really amazing by itself,” Trump said.
Trump credited Kelly with reducing the number of people illegally crossing the southern U.S. border with Mexico, and implementing a travel ban for refugees and people from a group of Muslim majority countries.
Trump pointed to the stock market gains and low unemployment rate as signs that his White House is working well. “No WH chaos!” he tweeted on Monday.
U.S. stock indexes have risen around 9 percent since Trump took office in January, partly on investor hopes of legislation such as lower…