Hoping to turn the page on a tumultuous opening chapter to his presidency, President Donald Trump insisted on Monday there is “no chaos” in his White House as he swore in retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his new chief of staff.
In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicted Kelly, who previously served as Homeland Security chief, would do a “spectacular job.” And the president chose to highlight the rising stock market and positive jobs outlook rather than talk about how things might need to change in his White House under Kelly.
Trump on Friday ousted Reince Priebus as chief of staff and turned to Kelly, who he hopes will bring military discipline to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, infighting among West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.
While Trump is looking for a reset, he pushed back against criticism of his administration with this tweet: “Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!”
In fact, economic growth averaged 2 percent in the first half of this year, a pace Trump railed against as a candidate and promised to lift to 3 percent. The stock market first hit a record under President Barack Obama and has kept growing. The unemployment rate, too, started to decline on Obama’s watch. And wage gains have been weak.
Trump on Monday convened his first Cabinet meeting with Kelly at his side, telling his team it is “doing incredibly well” and “starting from a really good base.” On how he would deal with rising tensions with North Korea, Trump said only: “It will be handled.”
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