I said the other day that maybe it was time for General Kelly to go, but if so it was past time for others to go too. Several people inside and on the periphery of the White House reached out to me after that post and over the weekend to chat about it. Those inside the White House include a couple of staffers who has been there since Day 1 and others who arrived in the Priebus/Bannon days. Those on the outside are close to the decision making processes in the White House.
Each of these people feel strongly that General Kelly is being set up. Though not all of them, the overwhelming majority of them think Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are to blame. One from inside the White House tells me he believes "Javanka" has been waiting to find an issue to use against Kelly ever since he reduced their influence. To a person, these people tell me that Javanka wants more influence inside the White House and their influence is perceived as stronger than it really is. Several of them see Javanka behind the anti-Kelly news both about immigration and about Rob Porter.
"Ivanka will use any headline she can to manipulate her dad into ousting General Kelly," one source told me. The source went on to say, "He has limited both Jared and Ivanka's abilities to navigate the White House, but they're family so he cannot shut them out entirely and they are taking advantage of that right now. We are rooting for Jared to get indicted just so they will go away."
Another tells me that General Kelly was telling the truth. Allegations were reported to General Kelly by others. He stood by Rob Porter while presuming they were just allegations. When General Kelly found out they were more than that, he moved quickly and decisively. "Hope shaped his thinking and that was the problem," one told me. Hope Hick, of course, is dating or was dating Rob Porter.
The pretty uniform consensus of the people I talked to is that the chaos in the White House arises from Trump and there is nothing General Kelly or anyone else can do to stop that. What General Kelly has done better than anyone is set up clear lines of command, fire walls, and navigable channels of information within White House operations. To a person, they all tell me the situation would deteriorate without General Kelly.
On the issue of why it took Kelly so long to find out, a White House source tells me there was clearly a problem, he believes it was intention, but he trusts General Kelly to get to the bottom of it and hold those who kept the information from him to account.
"We are every day at the mercy of what the President sees on TV and what his friends tell him overnight," one White House insider tells me. "Without General Kelly, we'd be at the mercy of Jared and Ivanka and an army of backstabbing retards who think they are Rhodes scholars too." (Don't shoot me on the "retards" quote. It is a direct quote)