Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

John Kelly says reports he called Trump 'an idiot' are 'total BS'

John Kelly says reports he called Trump 'an idiot' are 'total BS'

Responding to a report, as described to NBC by eight former and current White House officials, that claimed Kelly has called the president "an idiot" on multiple occasions, MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin, in for regular host Ari Melber, rolled footage of the chief of staff's more unsavory comments during his nine-month tenure in the West Wing. "He'll say it and you think, 'That is not what you should be saying'".

But Kelly flatly denied the report, calling it "total BS".

CNN also reported Monday that sources claimed Kelly had said the president was "becoming unhinged" after a meeting where Trump told him he wanted to pull USA troops from Syria.

The chief of staff's alleged criticisms of the president have been demoralizing to aides, the NBC sources said.

However one official claimed "the President hates reading these stories, he hates it", and that tensions between Trump and Kelly have been growing for weeks.

In a single assembly, Kelly reportedly mentioned, "He does not even perceive what DACA is".

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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.

General Kelly, in a statement, says he and Trump have "an incredibly candid and strong relationship".

Earlier this year, Kelly told Fox News in a January interview that his boss "has evolved" since becoming president, which embarrassed Trump. "He at all times is aware of the place I stand and he and I each know this story is whole BS".

According to NBC News, Kelly used the "idiot" term during closed-door meetings with other White House officials while negotiating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, which Trump tried to end past year.

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. And the former department of homeland security chief is particularly critical of what he reportedly sees as Trump's weak understanding of policy, particularly immigration-related.

"He has evolved in the way he's looked at things", Kelly said. "He's an idiot", and "We've got to save him from himself".

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