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General Kelly Limits Access To The Oval Office

RUSH: H. R. McMaster is cleaning house. He’s getting rid of every conservative on the National Security Council. He’s Trump’s national security director, and he’s brooming everybody.

Every conservative and every Trumpist is being broomed out of the National Security Council. There’s something going on there, and I’m gonna delve into it. But I just saw something that I want to comment on, and I didn’t know that it was going on. Apparently, the new chief of staff, General Kelly — a retired four-star, right — has just limited access to the Oval Office. Do you know what’s been going on in there? (interruption) Apparently… (interruption) What? Apparently, the door to the Oval Office has been open and anybody on the staff has been able to walk in there and, say, put an article that they either wrote or that they find interesting from some website or blog on the desk for Trump to read.

I mean, apparently it’s been an endless parade of people that have been able to get in there. Even when Trump is conducting meetings, that door apparently can be opened. People have been able to walk in there! And that is the epitome of self-interest. Look, folks, I have experience with this. You ought to see my email during the course of a program. You wouldn’t believe it. If I don’t shut it down, I have 30 people sending me things that they think I ought to use, and, if I use it, you know what happens. They call all their friends.

“Hey, Limbaugh wouldn’t have had that unless I sent it.” If that kind of stuff’s going on in the Oval Office — if that kind of stuff has been going on — I’m telling you, it’s not good, because most of that is self-interest. Some of these people walking in there… I don’t know names; it doesn’t matter. They see something that either they wrote or that their names are part of or that they believe in. They print it out, the salient stuff. It’s gonna be short because of Trump’s attention span. They put it on the desk hoping Trump sees it.

They hope Trump sees it, says something about it, reacts to it, does something. Then they call all their friends, “Hey, I got a direct line to the president! The president listens to me!” I know that stuff has been happening. That may be one of the sources of all the problems coming out of the Oval Office with so many people having access to it. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. The chief of staff, in a normally functioning White House, does indeed limit who gets in there. You gotta go through him, and that’s what Kelly has just reestablished, or just maybe established. That the door’s closed.

Anybody who wants to see Trump for whatever purpose has to clear it through Kelly. Now, that can also lead to problems. You know, if Kelly doesn’t want Trump to see certain things that Trump ought to see, well, then Trump is not gonna see ’em. I mean, this cuts both ways. But you just can’t have… With the office of the president of the United States, you cannot have an open door with anybody in the world being able to walk in there and drop down a pet issue that they have on his desk to try to get him to talk about it or think about it or react to it or what have you.

Besides that, nobody can deal with that much stimulation. I mean, if the president’s sitting there and there’s 15 or 20 things deposited on his desk — random things — every day, and he’s going through ’em trying to make sense of ’em or whatever? It leads to lack of discipline, leads to confusion. It takes highly trained professionals like me to be able to sift through that kind of stuff. I have all kinds of people who want to help. You ought to see the last 15 minutes before this program starts.

The email I get the last 15 minutes before the program starts is twice what I get in the two hours before it — and the two hours before it is double what most people get in a week! I know how this stuff works. But it shouldn’t be happening in the Oval Office. There is no way. So I’m glad that General Kelly has shut this down, but I’m also concerned that General Kelly has shut this down. Because now who does get in to see Trump? No, don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that enemies get in there. It’s not enemies. It’s people trying to help. This is even worse!

If there were enemies depositing stuff in there, that’s easy to deal with. But everybody… At that level of power, folks, the level of self-interest is unavoidable. The number of people who want to remain anonymous? (Snort!) You can count ’em on one finger. Everybody wants to be known and everybody wants to have their contribution recognized and everybody wants to be considered in the loop and a powerbroker. If all they have to do is walk in the Oval Office and drop off the latest from the Weekly Standard or whatever it is?

That may be the way the Trump organization worked on the Fifth Avenue, and I know that Trump had this policy of pitting executives against each other because he liked the competition. He thought it brought out the best in everybody. But here in the Oval Office? Uhh, it’s just not working. We know that some of these people are leaking! I mean, the transcripts now — the full transcripts — of Trump’s calls with the presidents of Mexico and Australia from six months ago have been published in the Washington Post. Now, who can get their hands on those?

In fact, those transcripts make Trump look pretty good when you get right down to it, and they disapprove that Trump hung up on the guy from Australia. And he was telling the president of Mexico (paraphrased): “Would you stop bellyaching? You’re gonna pay for the wall. You’re gonna pay for it. Stop telling people you’re not.” (interruption) Washington…? (interruption) Well, they can’t blame Priebus for this one. Well, not necessarily. Unless Priebus took the stuff home and called the Washington Post from home. Who knows! I’m not accusing anybody.

I’m just telling you: When you have that many people who apparently have had that kind of access? I mean, if you could walk into the Oval Office and put things on the desk (chuckles), you can just as easily pick something off the desk and take it out if there’s anything there to be picked up and taken out. Not that sensitive documents are lying around on the desktop in the Oval. I don’t think that’s the case. But I was a little shocked is and surprised to see that, and I just had to comment on it, ’cause it’s just… I don’t care how smart, I don’t care how compartmentalized, I don’t care how disciplined an individual is.

At some point, information overload happens, and then you get paralyzed and then you get confused, and you don’t remember who said what to you. And you don’t remember where you read what. So then you go out and say, “Yeah, they called me from the Boy Scouts and said it was a great job.” Nobody “called” him. They told him that after the event. But in Trump’s world, it equals a phone call. Somebody could have walked in and said, “Hey, Mr. President, we just got a call from the Boy Scouts. They thanked me, wanted to tell you how great…”

Who knows? I bet it did happen that way. Somebody at Boy Scouts called somebody in the executive branch, in the office of the White House — the West Wing — and in general conversation said, “Yeah, it was great the president came out here. Man, it was great. The Scouts loved him!” This kid walks in, “We just heard the Boy Scouts loved it!” Trump, by the time that he tells the story, they called him. Who knows?

When you have that much access with this many people, you cannot discount the self-interest at this level of power.

(First reported by  (August 4, 2017)

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