The Note: John Kelly takes command, but can Trump control himself?


  • John Kelly will be sworn in this morning as the new White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus. A weekend of tweetstorms from President Trump give Kelly a glimpse of what he’s up against.
  • With the president still frustrated with his attorney general, some White House aides are suggesting that Jeff Sessions replace Kelly at homeland security. The idea has met little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill.
  • So much for moving on. Despite last week’s debacle in the Senate, Trump is shaming and pressuring Republican senators to pass repeal and replace – or anything, really – while threatening to pull insurance subsidies that keep Obamacare afloat.
  • What did he get for his meddling? Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding the number of U.S. diplomats in his country be cut down by more than half after Congress approved a new sanctions bill.
  • Will China answer? Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have “fully agreed” to “take further action” against North Korea after it launched another intercontinental ballistic missile test last Friday.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

    This is one of those moments, in normal times, that would mark a strategic reset. These are not normal times. John Kelly assumes the role of White House chief of staff this morning, bringing his military and homeland security credentials to an institution that craves discipline and structure. This he might achieve. But while Kelly inherits the baggage of staff infighting and rivalries, mostly he inherits the man who still seems to relish the chaos. President Trump has escalated his wars on, well, everybody – friends and foes, loyalists and lobbyists, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and his own executive branch. Trump finds himself at the low point of his influence, and raging even at those who continue to demonstrate loyalty. It would be a natural time to end the soap opera and concentrate on governing. But Trump, as always, appears to enjoy the show.


    “In the White House’s view, they can’t move on in the Senate….They should stay and work and figure out a way to solve this problem.” — OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to CNN’s Jake Tapper on whether the Senate should consider other votes beside health care.


    John Kelly is sworn in as the White House chief of staff at 9:30 a.m.

    Following that, Trump leads his second full Cabinet meeting at 10 a.m.

    President Trump will present the Medal of Honor to…

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