- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 2, 2017

President Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, has curtailed the flow of conservative-media reports reaching his boss amid a bid to block his access to unvetted articles, according to The New York Times.

Hardly one month into his tenure as Mr. Trump’s latest chief of staff, Mr. Kelly has made a noticeable impact on the president by reducing the number of right-wing news articles making their way to the oval office, The Times reported Friday.

“Mr. Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets,” the Times reported.

“Now Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were,” conservative websites typically supportive of the administration and its policies, the report said.

Mr. Trump’s chief of staff hasn’t entirely curbed conservative news from reaching the president, however. “Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering,” according to The Times.

The president appeared to respond to The Times report Friday, tweeting: “General John Kelly is doing a great job as Chief of Staff.”

“I could not be happier or more impressed — and this administration continues to get things done at a record clip. Many big decisions to be made over the coming days and weeks. AMERICA FIRST!” the president tweeted.

Mr. Trump is routinely given packages of a printed-out articles, the White House acknowledged last month, but multiple reports have called into question the quality of the content the commander in chief regularly peruses. Mr. Bannon admitted in May that an uncorroborated article smearing the deputy chief of staff at the time was shared throughout the West Wing, and Axios indicated last week that Mr. Kelly was working to prevent the flow of articles from the likes of Infowars, the far-right website managed by noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Mr. Kelly formally laid out the new review process in a pair of memos issued last month, Politico reported, “designed to ensure that the president won’t see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven’t been vetted.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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