Gabriel Sherman reports that Ivanka and Jared have accused John Kelly of being responsible for that anonymous New York Times op-ed:
According to three sources, Jared and Ivanka floated a theory on Wednesday that Kelly could be behind the Times op-ed. Under this scenario, the sources said, the op-ed was written by Zachary Fuentes, the deputy chief of staff, at the direction of Kelly. Jared and Ivanka have told people they suspect this because Kelly is the only one with an ego so large as to have convinced himself that he’s saving the country from Trump, which was one of the op-ed’s principal arguments.
Seriously? They think no one else in this White House has a large enough ego to regard himself/herself as America's savior? That's hilarious.
On Wednesday night, Ivanka and Jared laid out for Trump the theory that Fuentes might be the author, an outside adviser with knowledge of the conversation told me.
Trump disagreed with their theory, an outside adviser said.
I disagree, too. Yastreblyansky has been floating the theory that the author was Larry Kudlow, with quite a bit of persuasive evidence. Now I'm reading William Saletan's argument for why the author had to be Jon Huntsman, and I'm finding that convincing.
It's not clear what evidence Javanka offered the president, apart from an assessment of ego size, but I suspect they're accusing him only because, as Sherman notes, they're feuding with him:
Earlier this week, they told Trump they were deeply troubled by the accounts in Woodward’s book and blamed Chief of Staff John Kelly for many of the leaks, an outside adviser close to them told me. “‘He’s destroying your presidency,’” Ivanka told her father, the outside adviser, who was briefed on the conversation, said. Their hunt for the author of the Times op-ed may bring them into the final chapter of their long-running feud with Kelly.
In any case, Trump won't fire or discipline Kelly, according to Sherman, because the president is a hero-worshiping little boy in Kelly's presence, and is also a coward:
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Ivanka has been frustrated that her father won’t take action against Kelly, an outside adviser said. She’s told people that Trump still sees Kelly as a “John Wayne figure,” and that Trump is worried that if Kelly is fired, he’ll become even more dangerous as an outside critic.
I know that LBJ gave J. Edgar Hoover free rein because, as he said, "It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." But that was J. Edgar Hoover. He scared more than one president. This is Trump's chief of staff. C'mon, dude -- if you have differences, man up and fire the SOB. You're the goddamn president*.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog