White House Chief of Staff John Kelly responded to reports Monday claiming that he called President Trump an “idiot” multiple times since taking office nine months ago.
“I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship,” Kelly said 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,” Kelly added. “This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.”
Kelly’s alleged remarks towards Trump were reported by NBC, which said four White House officials said they witnessed the comments. According to the report, Kelly during his tenure has cast himself as a savior of the White House who prevents Trump from making reckless policy decisions.
Many have speculated for months how long Kelly would remain in the post. His appointment in July 2017 was initially praised as a shrewd pick that would bring discipline and calmness to the White House. Since then, media outlets have reported a growing frustration by Kelly towards the Trump Administration. There are concerns that his status within the White House in dwindling.
A number of high-profile officials have left the Trump White House over the past year, including Kelly’s predecessor —Reince Priebus — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.