President Trump is having a difficult time accepting the strict operation in the White House run by chief of staff John Kelly, according to a report Thursday.
Sources closed to the president tell The Washington Post that Trump is struggling with the adjustment as the former Marine Corps general has brought a sense of discipline to a West Wing beset by leaks and infighting.
"[Trump's] having a very hard time," one friend who spoke with Trump this week told the Post. "He doesn't like the way the media's handling him. He doesn't like how Kelly's handling him. He's turning on people that are very close to him."
Kelly became Trump's chief of staff at the end of July, replacing Reince Priebus. Since then, Kelly has restricted the flow of information and people that reaches Trump. That includes limiting which family members can see Trump in the Oval Office on a whim.
The Post report said Trump, when Kelly isn't around, uses his personal phone to talk to recently departed White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and other business friends and outside advisers.
Some people close to Trump also don't appreciate Kelly's efforts to tamp down Trump's penchant for spontaneity and bold statements. According to the Post, some of them have taken to dismissively calling Kelly "the church lady."
Roger Stone, a former Trump adviser and longtime confidant, told the Post that Trump "resists being handled."
"Nobody tells him who to see, who to listen to, what to read, what he can say." Stone said. "General Kelly is trying to treat the president like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark and feeding him shit is not going to work. Donald Trump is a free spirit."
Despite Kelly's work to maintain an orderly West Wing, he refuses to attempt to control Trump's Twitter habits. He also doesn't seek out the limelight, as evidenced in Trump's Phoenix rally earlier this month when he called Kelly to come onto the stage, but he was nowhere to be found.