New York Magazine

My Surreal, (Semi-) Private Oval Office Press Conference

With special guest stars.

AROUND 12:20 p.m., I was on my way out of the White House after a series of meetings in the West Wing. I was reporting on a question that has hung over this administration for months: How has chief of staff John Kelly managed to keep his job in spite of convincing and persistent rumors that the president is unhappy with him and he is unhappy in his job? I noticed I had a missed call. It was press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She sounded very serious. She asked me if I had left yet. When I said no, she asked me to come back inside. I didn’t understand. Maybe I didn’t quite hear her. Then she told me President Trump wanted to speak to me.

I entered the Oval Office. Trump walked in.

“I just heard that you were doing a story on … this

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