It’s one thing for Kelly to fire Mooch, back McMaster in his war with Bannon, and warn Jared and Ivanka that they need to make an appointment if they want to see the president.
But micromanaging Trump’s Twitter feed? There are some red lines even a Marine general would be wise not to cross.
A series of news reports suggesting Kelly had sought oversight of Trump’s Twitter account, including a report that claimed Kelly wanted to know in advance what the president planned to post, made their way to Trump’s desk last week, a person familiar with the situation told the Washington Examiner.
Trump “was pissed when he read Kelly wanted to control his Twitter feed,” the person said.
I can’t think of anything Kelly could do that’s more likely to enrage Trump than messing with his Twitter time, except maybe telling him to cut back on “Fox & Friends.” Once he does that, he’s out and Corey Lewandowski’s in. Corey will let the president watch as much “Fox & Friends” as he wants. Even the cooking segments.
All right, admittedly that’s a lame (and probably apocryphal) story of intra-GOP conflict. This one is more solid and much more significant:
One of Donald Trump’s most generous political benefactors is providing a six-figure donation to a super PAC devoted to unseating Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who has been fiercely critical of the president.
Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge fund billionaire who was intimately involved in Trump’s rise and helped to bankroll his 2016 campaign, is contributing $300,000 to a super PAC supporting former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a Republican primary next year.
Hate Flake all you want, and a lot of Republicans do, but if he goes down in a primary it’s a distinct possibility that Arizona goes blue next November. And that seat could be the difference between a 50/50 Senate with Pence as the tiebreaker and a 51/49 Democratic chamber controlled by Chuck Schumer. I understand why Trump and members of his inner circle like Mercer want to punish Flake, as he’s an unusually vocal critic even by the standards of NeverTrumpers, but he votes with the White House on nearly everything. (Including the “skinny repeal” bill that was doomed by the other Republican senator from Arizona.) Given the stakes, is it worth spending $300,000 — or $10 million, as the president would like — to teach him a lesson? Leon Wolf makes a good point: Trumpers spend a lot of time warning his critics on the right to focus on the “real enemy,” i.e. Democrats. I guess Mercer gets a special exemption from that rule in targeting Flake.
Speaking of intra-GOP conflict, what’s this story all about? “[T]he Vice-President can’t believe what the f*** is going on”? Do tell, Anthony Scaramucci.