President Donald Trump thinks that his Chief of Staff John Kelly is concealing information from him, particularly about the pasts of White House staffers.
According to a New York Times report, the President has on several occasions privately complained that Kelly has not been forthcoming about staffers who opposed his 2016 election campaign or had ties to the Bush family.
The Times also reported that while complaining about Kelly, Trump has also insisted to friends and political allies that he alone is the one responsible for his successes in office, such as the recent progress in a possible denuclearisation of North Korea.
Meanwhile, Kelly has also been complaining to White House staffers saying that he doesn’t “need this,” after being lectured by the president.
The Times also wrote that Kelly has started giving the impression that he does not think highly of Trump. In recent months there was speculation that Trump’s relationship with Kelly has been deteriorating, and that the Chief of Staff is on his way out at the White House.
However, one person who is close to the White House told the Times that Trump is unlikely to fire Kelly and is acutely aware that firing his Chief of Staff, a retired four-star Marine general, would do little good for his public image.
The Times story about Trump believing Kelly is concealing information from him came just a day after NBC News reported that Kelly has given the impression that he sees himself as standing between the President and potentially erratic or damaging decisions. The news outlet report also stated that Kelly referred to his boss as “an idiot” – a claim that the Chief of Staff denied.
“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,” Kelly said.