Tensions were both visible and audible in the White House on Thursday after a shouting match went down between President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The two were clashing over recent reports demonstrating that border crossings by undocumented immigrants had gone up over recent months, according to CNN. While arguments aren’t unheard of in the West Wing, at least two sources who were witnesses to the shouting match suggested that this was not your run-of-the-mill argument between individuals with differing opinions.
Shouting outside of the Oval Office, which included use of profanities, according to reporting from Bloomberg, startled aides in the White House. Sources also suggested that after the fight concluded, aides were privately speaking to each other, ruminating on which of the two might be the next to resign.
White House officials sought to quash rumors of possible resignations after the fight was reported on, telling the media that no one is leaving as a result of the fight and that tempers have cooled since it happened. But the incident, along with other recent signs at the White House, could foreshadow a departure to come, and one could be forgiven for thinking a shakeup could be on its way, given the high turnover rate.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 18, 2018
Rumors of both individuals possibly departing seem legitimate. This past week, Bolton’s own Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz resigned unexpectedly, deciding to go back to a nonprofit role he once held at a think tank before Bolton was appointed as NSA. It’s not necessarily likely, but Fleitz’s leaving could foretell Bolton’s departure, too.
Additionally, Kelly is rumored to possibly be on his way out. Reports from various sources suggest that the president has tried to fire Kelly on a myriad of occasions, but Kelly simply ignores his calls to leave. Trump “just doesn’t know who to call to fire” Kelly, said one source close to the White House, according to reporting from Salon.