John Kelly couldn't fix the Trump presidency

As I wrote at the time, the Porter episode was often treated as an example of chaos at the White House, but in reality what it showed was the duplicity of many in the West Wing, including the chief of staff. Kelly also had a penchant for impolitic comments, including repeatedly saying immigrants who had not registered for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were “too lazy to get off their asses.”

Dishonest or offensive statements do not, needless to say, disqualify anyone from serving in the Trump administration. But Kelly struggled to assert control of the West Wing. While the Baker strategy had worked for Leon Panetta during the Clinton administration, Trump was unwilling to be corralled. No matter how effective Kelly was as a gatekeeper to the Oval Office, Trump would head to the White House residence and call friends or watch hours of television, both of which could easily derail him. In one notable incident, Trump came out on Twitter against a bill the White House backed, only to reverse course later than morning.