General Kelly accidentally admits who is really running the country

Thursday’s White House press briefing featured special guest star Chief of Staff/Trump babysitter John Kelly. The purpose of his appearance seemed to be to refute rumors that Kelly was either getting fired or quitting his post to escape the endless degradation of having to rein in the tantrums of a 71-year-old toddler. While refuting reporters’ questions on whether Kelly has grown frustrated in his role of having to restore order to a dysfunctional and disorganized White House, the chief of staff made a telling slip when he talked about the challenges of his job. He quickly caught himself, though.

“No, I’m not frustrated. This is really, really hard work… running the United States of America,” Kelly said. He then immediately corrected himself. “I don’t run it, but I’m working for someone who is dedicated to serving the country in a way he has talked about for a number of years.”

There’s a tell in the way Kelly gestures to himself while saying “I don’t run it.” It’s commonly known that President Trump doesn’t want his subordinates stealing his thunder or getting credit for his accomplishments — whatever they may be. The beginning of former chief strategist Steve Bannon’s downfall seemed to begin with his Time Magazine cover pushing the narrative that he’s the master populist Svengali manipulating a pumpkin-hued puppet. The whole “President Bannon” narrative bolstered by “Saturday Night Live” didn’t help. Kelly already has a Time magazine cover under his belt, so he’s clearly trying to avoid further scenarios where he bruises his boss’s notoriously fragile ego.

Still, it’s hard to imagine that general won’t get bitched out by Boss Baby for remotely suggesting that POTUS isn’t the one in control at all times.

[screen shot: CBS News]