When Marine General John Kelly sits down at his desk in the west wing of the White House this morning he’ll know what a clean slate looks like.
The drawers are empty. The filing cabinets are empty. The telephone has been disconnected. The blotter is new and untouched. The computer hard drive has been reformatted and emptied of content. Everything is spotless, as befits the workspace of a retired general.
Kelly is the president’s new chief of staff. He starts today.
Oh, there is one thing left. It’s a memo from former chief of staff Reince Priebus. It is not classified. It’s not even in an envelope. Hence, Wessays™ was able to photograph it.
Here’s what it says:
To: Chief of Staff John Kelly
From: Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
Subject: Welcome to the White House
Welcome to your new digs, John. To clear the space and spruce up the office we have removed and shredded all previous paperwork, including but not limited to directives, correspondence with other officials, correspondence with members of the public, the cleaning schedule and the phone directory. We had been informed that your American Express Blue Card would be upgraded to Platinum so we cut up our own and took the fragments directly to the building incinerator.
The men’s room is down the hall to your left. The President’s voicemail is extension 5108. Unfortunately, I don’t know the direct line to the Oval Office, but you can try calling the switchboard by dialing “0” and ask to be connected if you need to speak with him. If he chooses to call you, “blocked number” will appear in your caller i.d. display.
I wish I had been able to give you the current list of non-persons. But since I was most recently in the office Friday around lunchtime, it undoubtedly has changed several times and anything I could have left you would probably be outdated by the time you saw it.
There are some permanent members, however. And some high potentials. Keep an eye out for Steve Bannon. His star was beginning to fade in the final days of my own tenure here. Secretary of State ReXXon has been floating trial stories about how he’s considering stepping down. These are unconfirmed but still worth considering. You may be asked to join a search committee for the Secretary and possibly other members of the Cabinet. Keep your eye on “The Mooch.” He is not to be trusted. Do not be taken in by his fake sincerity and personal charm and reserved, dignified persona.
I urge you to keep the President’s Twitter feed on your computer screen once the IT people have restored it to working order. The President’s habit is to tweet things before issuing formal orders and making personnel changes.
And finally, I have taken the liberty of sending a package of banker’s boxes to your home. It was the last thing I charged on my company card. No one who works in this building should be without storage boxes at the ready in case there suddenly develops an urge to re-retire or the President decides you’re not up to the job.
I wish you the best of luck and Godspeed.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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