|Chief of Staff John Kelly|
NBC News reports that Donald Trump and his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, have grown tired of each other and Kelly could make his exit from the White House as early as July.
White House chief of staff John Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president’s intelligence and casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.
The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. 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.
Three White House spokespeople said they don’t believe it’s accurate that Kelly called the president an “idiot,” adding that none of them has ever heard him do that or otherwise use that word.
The last time it became public that one of Trump’s top advisers insulted his intelligence behind his back, it didn’t go over well with the president. White House aides have said Trump never got over former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a “moron” in front of colleagues, which was first reported by NBC News. Trump later challenged Tillerson to an IQ test and fired him several months after the remark became public.
Kelly, a retired four-star general, is Trump’s second chief of staff.
Former RNC head Reince Priebus previously held the position. His tenure was the shortest of any non-interim Chief of Staff in American history.
UPDATE – But wait, there’s more:
New: WH Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to the President as “unhinged” during meeting with Def Secretary Mattis, Jt Chiefs Chairman Dunford & other senior NSC officials – Sr. Admin. Official tells CNN
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 30, 2018
UPDATE II – Kelly has released a statement denying the report by NBC News.
The statement reads, in part, “I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS.”