No one can rein in Donald Trump

Gen. Kelly joins a long list of other advisers and family members who have tried and failed.

From left, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. President Donald Trump is en route to Bedminster, N.J., for vacation. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
From left, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. President Donald Trump is en route to Bedminster, N.J., for vacation. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Trump attacked Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) early Monday morning in another one of his trademark early morning rants on Twitter.

“Never in U.S.history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and … conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?”

The attacks on Blumenthal were part of a 9-tweet rant early Monday morning in which the president attacked the “fake news media” and claimed (again) that he is not on vacation.

The tweetstorm comes just days after Trump’s new chief of staff John Kelly joined the West Wing, and Kelly, a former general, was quickly said to have the ability to rein in Trump.


“Anthony Scaramucci’s ouster may show that John Kelly has the rare ability to rein in Trump,” The New Yorker predicted last Monday.

On Sunday, hardly 24 hours before Trump’s Twitter rant, Bloomberg ran a story headlined “New Chief of Staff Kelly Moves Quickly to Tame Trump’s Tweets.”

Kelly has clearly failed, at least so far, but the new chief of staff joins a long list of other Trump advisers and family members who have also been unsuccessful.

Trump himself even promised to rein it in once in office, saying last April, “My natural inclination is to win. And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won’t even recognize me. You’ll be falling asleep, you’ll be so bored.”


In every instance over the last 18 months when someone has been identified as the person who will finally to rein Trump in, he quickly demonstrated that is actually impossible. 

Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort
One of the first Trump managers was former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“Manafort, sensing a far-reaching mandate, moved quickly to consolidate power, overhaul the campaign and rein in the candidate,” POLITICO wrote in April of last year.

Around the same time, Manfort himself assured Republican insiders in Florida that Trump was ready to tone down his image, according to the Associated Press.

“He’s been ‘projecting an image,’ Paul Manafort told the GOP officials. ‘The part that he’s been playing is now evolving.’”


Just two hours later, according to the same AP story, Trump told the crowd gathered at a rally that he wasn’t ready to change.“I just don’t know if I want to do it yet,” Trump said. If he changed, he said, he’d only have 150 people at his rallies instead of thousands.

First Lady Melania Trump
When First Lady Melania Trump finally moved to the White House in June, Politico reported that White House staffers hoped she will be “will be a stabilizing presence in a White House.” Her arrival was billed as a “potentially a major shift for a president who has grown increasingly cheerless in his job, lashing out at aides in frustration and taking out his anger over how he thinks he is being treated on Twitter.”

According to Politico, “The first lady sees the tweets as damaging to her husband and generally tries to advise him toward restraint.” She was credited by aides for “for his nine-day break from off-message tweets” on his first major foreign trip.

Shortly after Melania’s arrival, Trump went on an epic rant attacking MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, accusing her of showing up at his Florida club bleeding profusely from a botched face lift.

White House Advisers (and daughter and son-in-law) Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
Perhaps more often than anyone else in the president’s inner circle, Ivanka Trump has been cited as the one who will rein in her father.


“Few are able to calm down Homer or the Donald but, like Lisa can calm her dad, Ivanka Trump can pacify hers,” a January op-ed from The Forward comparing Ivanka Trump to Lisa Simpson said.

“[Ivanka Trump is] the only person that I believe Donald Trump consistently listens to,” Republican strategist Liz Mair told the Guardian in March. “I don’t think that there’s anybody in the world who substitutes for his daughter and her husband as a sort of proxy.”

A POLITICO Magazine article published last July said that throughout the campaign, Ivanka Trump urged her father to “be more ‘presidential,’” and that she worked to get Trump to be less critical of Planned Parenthood and the judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit whom Trump attacked for his Mexican heritage.

At times, Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, who now serves Trump as a senior adviser, has been said to be working with his wife to rein in the president.

“Yet Trump advisers and family members including his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, have urged him to change public impressions that he is a hothead who overreacts to criticism, is quick to seek revenge for real and perceived slights, and refuses to study the issues, associates say,” a US News and World Report story from August of last year said.

The assurances that Jared and Ivanka will rein in Trump have been consistent for more than a year now, but they haven’t stopped Trump from tweeting or publicly attacking his own attorney general.

Attorneys Ty Cobb and Marc Kasowitz
Ty Cobb, another attorney Trump recently added to his legal team, was said to be hired to “help manage the [Russia] crisis from a legal and communications perspective,” CNN said when Cobb was added to the team last month.

“According to the people familiar with the move, Cobb is intended to be traffic cop, enforcer of discipline, and public spokesmanthe point person for queries from congressional panels and the Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller,” Bloomberg wrote.

Just days later, Trump falsely claimed The New York Times had foiled an attempt to kill a terrorist, called the Russia investigation a witch hunt, pointed to Clinton connections to Russia, and, for good measure, made sure everybody knew the president has “complete power to pardon” (even though the only crime “so far” is leaks).

Cobb’s failed efforts follow a similar fruitless attempt by the lawyer he replaced, Marc Kasowitz.

“[Marc Kasowitz] is laboring to underscore the potential risk to the president if he engages without a lawyer in discussions with other people under scrutiny in widening Russia inquiries, including Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser,” The Washington Post said last month.