According to Ken Duberstein, former-President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff, President Trump’s decision to appoint John Kelly as White House chief of staff was just what the administration needs.
“What John Kelly brings is stature, is age, is some wisdom, the military bearing. But, most importantly, he’s been in government before. Not just in at DHS, but at the Pentagon, even on Capitol Hill. That makes a big difference,” Duberstein said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “I think in two years we will be talking about chief of staff John Kelly.”
On Friday, President Trump announced via Twitter that Reince Priebus was out as White House chief of staff. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, was named as his successor.
“Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. Gen. Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday. “He’s a great, great American. Reince is a good man.”
Kelly was sworn in as the White House chief of staff on Monday morning.
Kelly will be effective at getting “the drama” out of the White House, said Duberstein, noting that he will help the administration to work “quietly, effectively and on target.”
Duberstein explained, “The role of chief of staff, in essence, is to be the reality therapist for the president, to tell him what he doesn’t want to hear but what he needs to know. That is important regardless of who the president is. But you also have to help him organize the White House staff so you can win on Capitol Hill.”
About Kenneth M. “Ken” Duberstein
Kenneth M. “Ken” Duberstein (born April 21, 1944) served as U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s White House Chief of Staff from 1988 to 1989.
During President Reagan’s two terms in office, he served as White House Chief of Staff (1988–1989), as well as both the Assistant and the Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs (1981–83). Duberstein is said to be the first Jewish-American appointed as White House Chief of Staff (although Hamilton Jordan’s maternal grandmother was Jewish).
Duberstein has been a “political adviser” to former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, according to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who says Duberstein was a source for David Corn’s and Michael Isikoff’s book about the Valerie Plame affair in which Armitage was found to be the one who leaked Plame’s CIA status to Novak.
Duberstein has been hired by Russian authorities, via Goldman Sachs (an international investment banking firm), to lobby against the Magnitsky Bill (as known as the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act), a bill in the U.S. Congress “to impose sanctions on persons responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, and for other gross violations of human rights in the Russian Federation”
In 2013, Duberstein was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.His position succeeded, as the court would go on to effectively legalize same-sex marriage in California.
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BREAKING: Gen. Kelly sworn in as chief of staff (Trump’s comments)