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Sources Say Trump's Frustration Is Mounting

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Several sources say President Donald Trump's frustration with some of his aides and the progress of his presidency is growing.

The Washington Post spoke to 15 White House officials, friends and other sources familiar with the current state of affairs in the White House.

One alleged irritant is Chief of Staff John Kelly's attempt to limit the information getting to the president.

"[Trump]'s having a very hard time," a friend said, according to 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 has reportedly prevented friends and associates from visiting Trump in the Oval Office unless they have a specific reason, a shift from the early days of Trump's presidency, when acquaintances were free to drop by.

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"Donald Trump resists being handled," Roger Stone, a long-term confidante who served as an adviser to Trump, told the Post. "Nobody tells him who to see, who to listen to, what to read, what he can say."

Stone had strong words for anyone attempting to keep the president in check.

"General Kelly is trying to treat the president like a mushroom," he said. "Keeping him in the dark and feeding him s**t is not going to work. Donald Trump is a free spirit."

Trump is also said to be increasingly at odds with senior administration officials, including economic adviser Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Both men distanced themselves from Trump's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Tillerson has also clashed with Trump on issues such as Saudi Arabia's blockade of Qatar and the deployment of troops to Afghanistan.

However, others point out that speculation of growing rifts may be exaggerated.

"It is not unusual for staffers to hear him bluster about things," Barry Bennett, a former campaign adviser, told the Post. "That doesn't mean it's real. There were people on the campaign staff that he said to fire a dozen times, but he never did it. It was just bark. And some people don't know the difference between the bark and the bite."

A number of personnel changes have taken place over the summer at the White House. Kelly took up the post of chief of staff after Reince Priebus stepped down in July. In August, the White House announced the departure of Steve Bannon, Trump's chief political adviser.

CNN, citing three sources, reported on Sept. 1 that Keith Schiller, who has been an aide to Trump for close to two decades, intends to leave the White House by early October. Schiller's main reason for leaving is allegedly financial. But one of the sources told CNN that Schiller has become frustrated with the system implemented by Kelly.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared the report was "not true." Schiller refused a request for comment.

Sources: Washington Post, CNN / Featured Image: Arlington National Cemetery/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Jim Mattis/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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