WASHINGTON President Trump swore in a new chief of staff on Monday and gave a very sunny outlook on both the U.S. economy and his presidency, all the while disputing any reports of "chaos" at the White House after a week of political missteps.
"We're doing very well. We have a tremendous base. We have a tremendous group of support. The country is optimistic," Trump said while swearing in John Kelly, the retired general who until now was his Homeland Security secretary. "And I think the General would just add to it."
Trump's optimism echoed tweets he sent earlier in the morning: "Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!"
While swearing in new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly the replacement for the dismissed Reince Priebus Trump told reporters that Kelly will do "a spectacular job."
Later, during the Cabinet meeting, Trump repeatedly vowed to "handle" North Korea and is threats involving missiles and nuclear weapons. "Well be able to handle North Korea," the president said. "It will be handled. We handle everything.
Yet the appointment of Kelly late Friday capped a tumultuous week for the Trump White House.
The president for several consecutive days belittled his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, raising questions about whether Trump wanted him to quit so he could get rid of special counsel Robert Mueller and assert greater control over the Russia investigation that infuriates him. (Sessions, by the way, attended Monday's Cabinet meeting, but did not appear to interact with Trump.)
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner appeared before the House Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation. Newly hired communications director Anthony Scaramucci launched profane attacks on Priebus and senior adviser Steve Bannon yet Priebus was the one dismissed at the end of the week.
What's more, while Trump has been demanding Republicans repeal and replace Obamacare, attempts to do so in the Senate fell short despite a GOP majority prompting Trump to call lawmakers from his own party "fools" over the weekend.
And leaders of the Boy Scouts and police departments across the country publicly rebuked Trump last week over comments he made in speeches.
After giving controversial and hyper-political remarks to the Boy Scout Jamboree on Monday, Trump suggested in a Friday speech on gang violence that he didn't mind if police officers roughed up some suspects.
"As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners," tweeted the Suffolk County Police Department.
Kelly takes control of the White House staff amid questions about how much authority he will have.
Numerous staff members, and some friends of Trump outside the government, essentially have walk-in privileges with the president, or can call him on the phone.
After his appointment as communications director, for example, Scaramucci said he reported directly to Trump, not to the chief of staff.
Asked who she reports to now that Kelly is chief of staff, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Sunday that "I will speak with General Kelly and the president about that, as Im sure Anthony Scaramucci will."
Dismissing reports of staff turmoil, Conway said "everybody is on the same team."