18 September 2017

News Story: Trump's generals look to provide a steady hand

President Donald Trump

Dubbed the "axis of adults," three generals working for President Donald Trump are trying to drill a sense of good order and discipline into a sometimes chaotic White House.

The trio -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster -- have spent the summer cleaning up crises of Trump's own making, and trying to prevent the North Korean nuclear standoff spinning out of control.

The growing influence of the men Trump likes to call "my generals" has reassured some allies and political opponents, while others are raising eyebrows over military men being in typically civilian jobs.

"There certainly has been a feeling among many of my colleagues that they are a steadying hand on the rudder and provide a sense of consistency and rationality in an otherwise zig-zagging White House," Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal told The Washington Post.

The generals' spit-and-polish gravitas was at the fore when Kelly, a recently retired Marine four-star who served in the Gulf War and the Iraq War, was promoted to Trump's chief of staff in July.

Kelly, who had been heading the Department of Homeland Security and took over from Republican figurehead Reince Preibus, moved quickly to impose order.

He booted the president's brash spokesman Anthony Scaramucci -- far-right chief strategist Steve Bannon left shortly after -- and Kelly reportedly has curtailed who sees Trump, including daughter Ivanka.

But Kelly is unable to keep his boss entirely on message, as displayed during the disastrous press conference last month where Trump defended white supremacists after deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The generals "cannot control everything that comes out of his mouth, but they can slow things down, they can moderate his instincts," said Eliot Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, who knows Mattis, McMaster and Kelly.

"They can try to get a much more deliberative process than you would have had if somebody else was in charge," he said.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily