White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has reportedly told a group of lawmakers that the White House is a “miserable place to work,” as his efforts to quell rampant infighting and leaks appear to have failed.
The remark, reported by the New York Times, is the latest example of leaks coming out of the White House that suggest the exacerbating working environment in the top executive office under U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The mood in the White House is one of numbness and resignation,” the Times article said, adding that many staff members are eyeing an exit.
Kelly, a former military general who was brought into the White House in 2017 and tasked to restore order, enjoyed temporary success before his influence over Trump faded and sway over his subordinates deteriorated.
U.S. media have reported that Kelly erupted earlier this year and threatened to quit, but was calmed by his allies in the administration such as Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
After losing the backing of Trump, Kelly has found it increasingly difficult to discipline the White House staff.
The Times has reported that some of the staff members have been calling Kelly’s deputy Zachary Fuentes, who has taken over some of Kelly’s duties, as “deputy president.”
The White House under the Trump administration has seen a high turnover rate.
Senior officials who have either been fired or quit from Trump’s White House include National Security Advisors Michael Flynn and H.R.McMaster, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Communications Directors Mike Dubke, Anthony Scaramucci and Hope Hicks.