- NBC report on Monday cited four anonymous staffers who made the claim
- Claimed that Kelly called Trump an ‘idiot’ over president’s poor grasp of policy
- Kelly calls the claim ‘another pathetic attempt to smear people close’ to Trump
White House chief of staff John Kelly has said that a report that he called President Donald Trump an idiot is ‘total BS.’
Kelly denied the claims on Monday in a statement to DailyMail.com, blasting the NBC report which cited four officials who say they had witnessed the comments.
‘I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship,’ Kelly said in the 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.’
Chief of Staff John Kelly looks out of the Oval Office onto the Rose Garden before the start of a news conference on Monday. He is denying a new NBC report that he called Trump an idiot
‘This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes,’ Kelly continued.
NBC reported on Monday that Kelly has criticized Trump’s knowledge on issues like immigration, and cast himself as a protecting the country from Trump’s impulses.
The news outlet claimed that Kelly ‘has referred to Trump as “an idiot” multiple times to underscore his point,’ citing the unnamed sources.
The report added that Trump was growing tired of Kelly’s attitude.
Trump has chafed at Kelly’s controlling management style, and has occasionally talked with friends about replacing him.
For months, Kelly has been the target of near constant reports of a shakeup at the top of the White House staff.
Most recently, he was rumored to be under consideration for the spot of Veterans Affairs secretary after the president’s last pick withdrew his nomination.