(Ret.) Gen. John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, wasn’t inclined to take the post when President Trump first came calling. But a concerted effort by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford and others convinced Kelly that his service was needed at the White House. Now Kelly represents Trump’s best—and perhaps last—hope at bringing the chaos that has defined his administration under control. The story behind Kelly’s decision to take the job—and how he’s already making an impact—features on this week’s cover of TIME in a story written by Michael Duffy. Kelly’s “Country, President, Self,” rallying cry already has made an impact on morale in the White House, but aides are unsure how long it will last. Ultimately, the answer to that question will be determined by Trump himself, who may have chafed at structure in the past, but is giving Kelly the room to impose order.
Trump’s North Korea threats. The President goes after a key ally. And Trump’s legal team is no match for Mueller’s.
Here are your must reads:
TIME’s Michael Duffy on the new Chief of Staff’s call to duty
The president could learn from Bill and Hillary Clinton’s years of litigation. [Bloomberg]
Improvised threat catches aides by surprise [New York Times]
Remarks were after the Senate leader critiqued the ‘artificial deadlines’ set by the president [Wall Street Journal]
Alarmed by party’s leftward shift [Washington Post]
“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” — President Trump in a tweet Thursday
“You can see the president’s tweets. Obviously there’s some frustration. I don’t have anything more to add.” — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Trump’s tweets about McConnell
Bits and Bites
Sebastian Gorka, the West Wing’s Phony Foreign-Policy Guru [Rolling Stone]