This revelation comes from a report by Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair.
"One outside adviser to the White House said Trump has recently mulled the concept of creating a new West Wing structure without a chief of staff, one that would instead have four co-equal principals reporting directly to him," Sherman writes.
The reporting seems plausible as Trump had recently thrown caution to the wind — even more than usual — and let his instincts take over the presidency. He's levying tariffs on China and other countries in defiance of his party, set up a meeting with North Korea on a whim, and fired his national security adviser and secretary of state in recent weeks.
Trump was reportedly close to firing Kelly after it was reported that the chief of staff had allowed staff secretary Rob Porter to work at the White House despite allegations of abuse from his ex-wives. That scandal has since subsided, but Trump still reportedly chafes at being told what to do.
The prospect of a rudderless Oval Office is not a comforting one.
Kelly has his share of problems — from his attacks on immigrants to troubling militarism — but without a chief of staff, Trump and the country may be subject to the president's worst impulses. What this could mean for the upcoming meeting with North Korea or the burgeoning trade war with China is anybody's guess, but we almost certainly don't want to find out.