President Donald Trump’s new Chief of Staff John Kelly gave a speech to roughly 200 White House aides Friday and warned them about the serious repercussions of leaking classified information and about their priorities in serving the president.
Kelly, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, reportedly told the staff that he did not care how long each staff member has been with the Trump camp or how they made it to the White House. Each member of the staff works with one common purpose: to serve at the pleasure of the president, he said Friday.
The former Marine Corps general said members of the staff should be loyal to their country first, the president second, and their own individual needs and priorities should come last.
In his first week as chief of staff, Kelly fired former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci just 10 days after the Wall Street banker took the job. Kelly also terminated two National Security Council aides that were speculated to have their own agendas and who were reportedly working outside the chain of command.
Kelly has also stopped the open door policy to the Oval Office that the president had established and that former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was seemingly unable to stop. The new chief of staff has issued a new law of the land: all visitors or staff members who wish to enter the Oval must go through him first.
These shake-ups are evident that Kelly was not all talk when he told White House staff Monday that he was in charge. Trump even allows Kelly to see some of his tweets before he fires them off — a measure that could prove helpful in deterring some of Trump’s tweet storms that find the president in hot water with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The president’s tweets since Aug. 3 have been rather tame, mainly championing the success of the stock market and applauding the U.N. for sanctioning North Korea.