By Zeke J Miller
July 31, 2017

President Trump replaced chief of staff Reince Priebus Friday with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. It capped a turbulent six months in the job for the former RNC chair, who had never been fully empowered by a president who undercut him and seemed to encourage a culture of backbiting. The hiring of Kelly, a former Marine general, has drawn widespread praise. But it remains to be seen how his no-nonsense approach will adapt to the unruly-by-design West Wing. White House officials say they are trying to give Kelly space to take on a firmer leadership style, but it’s hard to see the feuding factions setting aside their competing agendas anytime soon—particularly when the president has seemed to enjoy the behavior. Meanwhile, Trump believes everything is going great in his West Wing. “No WH chaos!” Trump tweeted Monday. That’s why he’s parted with his chief of staff, a deputy chief of staff, a national security advisor, a communications director, and a press secretary—not to mention firing an acting attorney general and an FBI director.

Trump spent the weekend sending rambling tweets about healthcare and foreign policy, threatening to undermine cost sharing reduction payments that have supported the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and sounding a tough line on China. It is unclear whether either initiative has the buy-in of his staff or his new chief of staff.

Lost in the staff shuffle were Trump’s comments encouraging law enforcement to get tougher on those in their custody. Congress looks past healthcare, despite Trump’s tweets. And the latest North Korea missile test highlight’s the escalating foreign policy challenge on the peninsula.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

President Trump Has Replaced Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly sworn into the new job Monday [TIME]

Healthcare Repeal Failed. Here’s What’s Next for the Senate
TIME’s Philip Elliott on the path forward

The Final Humiliation of Reince Priebus
Like his party, the former White House chief of staff swallowed his principles in the name of power [The Atlantic]

Ivanka and Jared Find Their Limits in Trump’s White House
Their policy influence is lacking [Politico]

White House Looks at Scaling Back U.S. Military Presence in Afghanistan
Unable to agree on a plan to help turn back Taliban advances, the White House is exploring its options [Wall Street Journal]

Sound Off

“We’ll handle North Korea. We’ll be able to handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything.” — President Trump at a Monday Cabinet meeting

“I think it’s a good time to hit the reset button. I think he was right to hit the reset button. And I think that it was something that I think the White House needs. I think it’s healthy and I support him in it.” — Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to CNN Friday

Bits and Bites

How the Trump administration broke the State Department [Foreign Policy]

U.S. displays military firepower after Pyongyang’s latest ICBM test [Washington Post]

Sage Advice From the ‘Gold Standard’ of White House Chiefs of Staff [New York Times]

President Trump Tells Police Officers Not To Be ‘Too Nice’ With Suspects [TIME]

Next Up for GOP Congress: Raising the Debt Ceiling [Wall Street Journal]

Major GOP-aligned group pledges to spend millions on tax reform fight [McClatchy]

Putin says US will have to shed 755 from diplomatic staff [Associated Press]

McConnell wages war down South [Politico]

Jeff Sessions Wants to Mend His Tattered Relationship With President Trump [Associated Press]

Vulnerable GOP Senators May Pay A Price For Obamacare Vote [TIME]

President Trump: Republican Senators ‘Look Like Fools’ for Losing Health Care Vote [TIME]

Dem redistricting group clocks $10.8 million in first 6 months [Politico]


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