WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans on Sunday urged President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff John Kelly to rein in the chaos within the White House on Monday but said the retired Marine Corps general will be challenged to assert control.
In his first six months in office, Trump has upended White House convention with a loose decision-making style and an open-door policy to his Oval Office for advisers, both internal and external. Infighting among his senior staff has become bitter and public.
“He’s going to have to reduce the drama, reduce both the sniping within and reduce the leaks, and bring some discipline to the relationships,” Karl Rove, a Republican strategist and former White House adviser to George W. Bush, said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump announced Kelly would replace his embattled chief of staff Reince Priebus at the end of a particularly chaotic week that saw his first legislative effort – healthcare reform – fail in Congress.
“He (Trump) is in a lot of trouble. This week was the most tumultuous week we’ve seen in a tumultuous presidency,” Rove said.
On top of the healthcare debacle, Trump came under fire for banning transgender people from the military, and was pilloried for politicizing a speech he made to the Boy Scouts.
Adding fuel to the fire, his new communications director Anthony Scaramucci unleashed a string of profane criticism about Priebus and Trump strategist Steven Bannon to a New Yorker magazine reporter.
Republicans welcomed Trump’s decision to bring in Kelly, who starts on Monday.
“I think he will bring some order and discipline to the West Wing,” said Republican Senator Susan Collins and Trump critic on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The last week heightened concerns in Trump’s party that the distractions and West Wing dysfunction would derail other legislative priorities, including tax reform and debt ceiling negotiations.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said he thought Priebus had been effective “but was probably a little…