Kelly says report he called Trump an idiot is 'total BS'

Chief of Staff John Kelly looks out of the Oval Office onto the Rose Garden before the start of a news conference on Monday. He is denying a new NBC report that he called Trump an idiot

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

During one exchange between Kelly and Trump early in 2018, sources said, Kelly made a strong case to keep US troops in South Korea, changing the president's mind about ordering the complete withdrawal from the region. Kelly slammed the report as "total BS" and Stephanie Ruhle--who shares the byline on the report--fired back tonight.

According to NBC News, the former military general has insulted the president's intelligence in the presence of White House staffers, and painted himself as America's last defense against a president-led catastrophe.

He has referred to Trump as "an idiot" multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they've witnessed the comments. The report on Monday capped off weeks of what sources have described as a growing disconnect between Kelly and Trump.

Kelly, who reportedly knew of issues with Porter's security clearance for months, released a statement praising the top staffer as "a man of true integrity and honor", even after the abuse allegations were published in the media.

After Kelly grew to become chief of workers in July 2017, he imposed strict controls on entry and the circulation of data to Trump, aides instructed The Related Press that his direct affect has waned considerably.

White House spokespeople cited by NBC said they hadn't seen Kelly have a negative effect on the morale of women working in the White House. The latter, Mohyeldin said, echoes NBC's reporting today that charges Kelly with claiming women are "more emotional" than men.

The senior administration official said while Trump and his chief of staff have had disagreements, Kelly has never used that kind of language to criticize Trump.

"He doesn't even understand what DACA is".

After the talks on a bipartisan deal fell apart, a collapse Kelly helped orchestrate with some conservative Republicans, he told aides in his office: "If it weren't for me the president was going to agree to some hasty deal", according to two officials who were present at the time.
"Weve got to save him from himself", the channel reported Kelly as having said.

"He says stuff you can't believe", said one senior White House official.

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