Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
- John Kelly had to deal with conflicts between Melania and Ivanka Trump, NYT journalist Michael Schmidt said.
- Ivanka Trump wanted to be the first lady in a “ceremonial” sense, Schmidt said.
- Schmidt’s book “Donald Trump v. The United States” includes details about Kelly’s time as White House chief of staff.
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly was often forced to deal with conflicts between Melania and Ivanka Trump as they competed for influence, according to New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt.
Schmidt, who wrote the book “Donald Trump v. The United States,” told MSNBC that Ivanka Trump wanted to be the first lady in a “ceremonial” sense.
“John Kelly is probably as serious a national security figure as you can find, a four-star Marine general. He comes into the White House, he thinks that he needs to put in structure and better staffing for Trump and all of a sudden, he’s confronting far more frivolous issues like fights between the first lady and Ivanka Trump, and Ivanka Trump trying to maneuver, what Kelly was told, to become the first lady in this ceremonial ways,” he said.
White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on October 5, 2017.
Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images
The book’s paperback edition, which is due to be published on Tuesday, includes a 12,000-word biography of Kelly and details about his time as Trump’s chief of staff.
Schmidt said that during Kelly’s time in the White House, he was often forced to focus on less important issues, including telling former White House aide Omarosa to stop having parties at the White House pool.
“Here’s John Kelly, right, concerned that we could be on the brink of war with North Korea, trying to mitigate these issues that are not as serious but were front and center in the Trump White House where things were off the rails,” he said.
In a new afterword for the book, due to be published on Tuesday, Schmidt also revealed that Kelly was concerned when former President Donald Trump suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on North Korea and blaming it on someone else in 2017.