NBC News reported Monday that according to eight former and current White House aides, that Chief of Staff John Kelly has eroded morale inside the West Wing.
According to those sources, he has cast himself as the ‘Country’s Savior’ and also called President Trump an ‘Idiot.’
According to the NBC report Kelly was frustrated with President Trump’s lack of understanding the immigration issue, something Kelly views as his policy strong suits, as he served as both Homeland Security secretary and head of the combatant command for U.S. military operations in Central and South America.
During meetings in his office with White House officials as negotiations with lawmakers continued on funding the border wall and finding a solution to DACA, Kelly reportedly said:
“He doesn’t even understand what DACA is. He’s an idiot,” Kelly said in one meeting, according to two officials who were present. “We’ve got to save him from himself.”
The sources also are reported to have said that Kelly believes if not for him, the President would have entered WWIII:
The strong implication being ‘if I weren’t here we would’ve entered WWIII or the president would have been impeached,'” one former senior White House official said.
White House Officials went on to say that Kelly at times has made remarks that have rattled the female staff, calling women more emotional than men, once allegedly in front of the President, according to four current and former officials.
Kelly is also alleged to have wondered aloud, during the firing of Rob Porter:
how much more Porter would have to endure before his honor could be restored, according to three officials who were present for the comments. He also questioned why Porter’s ex-wives wouldn’t just move on based on the information he said he had about his marriages, the officials said.
CNN News is also reporting that Kelly has called the President unhinged:
“He said the President was becoming unhinged,” the official said, adding that Kelly appeared to say it in “a moment of frustration.”
Kelly has denied the NBC report:
“I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship,” said Kelly in a statement. “He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS. I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.”
This is not the first time a staff or cabinet member has reportedly said negative things about President Trump, most notably, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called President Trump an “F**king Moron” last summer. In light of the NBC report about Tillerson, President Trump challenged Tillerson to an IQ test. Months later, Tillerson was fired.