Kelly calls 'BS' on report he called Trump an idiot

01 May 2018, 08:22 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Andrew Harnik AP

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington Tuesday Jan. 31 2017 to discuss the operational implementation of the president’s executive orders. (AP

It comes after NBC reported Mr Kelly had on multiple occasions criticised Trump's knowledge on issues such as immigration and has cast himself as a protecting the country from Mr Trump's impulses.

Kelly is Trump's second chief of staff, having been appointed to the position this past July to replace Reince Priebus. And while engulfed in the Porter drama, Kelly reportedly "wondered aloud how much more Porter would have to endure before his honor could be restored", and "questioned why Porter's ex-wives wouldn't just move on based on the information he said he had about his marriages".

The individual described Mr Kelly's statement as a "moment of frustration". And the former department of homeland security chief is particularly critical of what he reportedly sees as Trump's weak understanding of policy, particularly immigration-related.

"Several sources interviewed by the publication shared comments that they attributed to Kelly, including "[Trump] doesn't even understand what DACA is.

"That's complete BS. I was in the room for that meeting", the official told CNN. "He's an idiot", and "We've got to save him from himself".

But Kelly flatly denied the report, calling it "total BS".

They also said that Kelly often steps in if other aides use curse words in front of women in the White House. Kelly has since denied characterizing the President that way.

"I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country", Kelly added.

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"This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration's many successes", he said.

Kelly's handling of domestic violence accusations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter earlier this year caused consternation among White House staffers, who believed he wasn't truthful.

While people who are honest and keep tabs on the president are valuable assets, it's also disheartening that the people who end up in those positions often push him toward even more radical anti-immigration policies.

The report published on Monday caps off numerous weeks of speculation that there is a growing divide between Kelly and Trump, and numerous officials believe it is a matter of when, rather than if, Kelly will be fired.

The president, who lavished praise on Porter after the staffer's resignation, was reportedly privately furious with Kelly's response to the situation. And though things have since cooled off, a new report from NBC News could bring their relationship back to the brink.

She stood by the report and said the relationship between the President and his chief of staff has deteriorated.

"He'll say it and you think, "That's not what you should be saying", one senior official said.



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