"Jared feels like he's being slow-rolled"

Sources told me Trump’s reluctance to fire his chief is driven by several factors. For one, Trump has expressed concern that dismissing Kelly now would ignite days of negative news cycles at a moment when the White House is still recovering from the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal and his approval ratings have clicked back down. Trump also faces a more immediate problem that he doesn’t have a vetted person available to step in. The president feels he was too quick to appoint Kelly last summer when he forced out Reince Priebus. “He’s told people he was too impulsive to get Kelly. He bought into Kelly’s resume, and not his personality,” the Trump friend said. (The White House declined to comment for this article.)

Lastly, if Trump fired Kelly now, it would appear that the decision was made in part to benefit Kushner. On Monday, according to Kelly’s new rules for security clearances, Kushner would apparently have had his clearance revoked, but the White House declined to say whether this had occurred. Two sources said White House counsel Don McGahn has advised Trump he shouldn’t give Kushner a special waiver. Last week, Trump told reporters that Kushner’s clearance would “be up to General Kelly.” Kushner has been pushing behind the scenes to get Kelly removed. He’s told people that Kelly is partly responsible for having his security clearance held up. “Jared feels like he’s being slow-rolled by Kelly’s cronies,” a Kushner friend said. “He’s confident he has paperwork to get the clearance.”

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