A new report in Axios details how White House Chief of Staff John Kelly did not follow President Donald Trump’s orders to promote the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani–and, in fact, took action diametrically opposed to the president’s wishes.
“Several months ago, Donald Trump ordered the promotion of Rudy Giuliani’s son,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan wrote about Andrew Giuliani on Wednesday. “But instead of getting promoted, he has lost his West Wing pass.”
This is the latest example of friction between Trump and Kelly, with other high-profile spats coming on issues like Kelly appearing on TV saying that Trump has “evolved” on DACA amnesty for illegal aliens and on other matters involving staffing and policy.
“If Kelly is insubordinate in something like this, there is no telling what other orders he’s ignoring,” a current senior White House official told Breitbart News. “Trump has a country to run, and now he’s got to worry about whether his chief of staff is ignoring him, or even worse, thwarting his explicit demands? How is that tenable?”
A second source, a GOP official close to the White House, added that this may be a bridge too far for Kelly to have directly crossed the president on this matter.
“General Kelly has emasculated the President of the United States,” the source close to the White House said. “On one hand this level of insubordination is surprising coming from a military man who theoretically answers directly to the commander in chief. On the other hand, if Trump lets himself get walked all over, he has no one to blame but himself.”
Andrew Giuliani himself is quoted in the Axios story as praising President Trump for being like “family” to him and his family for years–both are New Yorkers.
Swan reported that Trump made the decision after dining several months ago at Mar-A-Lago with the elder Giuliani, and ordered his body man Jordan Karem to ensure that Kelly followed through and promoted Andrew Giuliani in the White House to the position “special assistant to the president,” one of the highest level staffer ranks in the White House.
“A source close to Trump and the Giulianis said the president is ‘genuinely fond’ of Andrew, and believes he helped mend the father-son relationship after Rudy and Andrew’s mother divorced,” Swan wrote. “Andrew also volunteered on the Trump campaign. He’s a scratch golfer and has played many rounds with Trump over the years, according to a source familiar their relationship.”
The senior White House official who spoke to Breitbart News about Kelly’s actions here on condition of anonymity added another shot at the body man, Karem, for not following through on the president’s orders on his end. “One of the most disturbing parts of this is that Jordan Karem, who sees all the intimate, behind-the-scenes parts of Trump’s life, is exposed for being nothing more than a puppet for the Kelly regime,” the White House official said. “If you’re the president, that’s got to stick in the back of your mind.”
Swan’s report in Axios details how and why Kelly is not following the president’s orders here as well.
“Kelly and others, including Office of Public Liaison director Justin Clark, won’t promote Andrew because they think he ‘subverts the chain of command’ and claim he had other issues in the workplace that they weren’t happy about, according to two sources familiar with the situation,” Swan wrote. “According to a source familiar, Kelly took away Andrew’s blue staff pass about two weeks ago, revoking his West Wing access. He now only has a green pass, which means he can’t enter the West Wing without an escort.”
We're told that chief of staff John Kelly did not follow through on the order, and Andrew has not been promoted. It's unclear whether the president knows his directive wasn't followed. https://t.co/nauelIDPGk
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 13, 2018
Swan adds that at this point it is “unclear” whether President Trump is aware his orders to Karem and Kelly were not followed.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has not replied to a Breitbart News request for comment from Kelly about this.