According to New York magazine journalist Olivia Nuzzi, citing an unnamed administration source, President Donald Trump has attempted to dismiss White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, but failed because he “just ignores him.”
“When the president says, ‘I need you to leave,’ Kelly just ignores him. I think the president just doesn’t know who to call to fire him. Normally if the president wanted to fire somebody, he would call Kelly to do it. But there’s nobody else to call,” the administration official told Nuzzi, who was invited to a private meeting with Donald Trump.
According to the journalist, Trump repeatedly told her that his chief of staff was doing an excellent job, and praised their relationship.
“General Kelly’s doing a very good job. We have a very good relationship. The White House is running very, very smoothly. […] I want to tell you a couple of things: the chief is doing a very good job. I’m very happy with him, we have a very good relationship, number one. Number two, I didn’t offer anybody else the job. I didn’t talk to anybody about the job. And I’m not, I’m not looking,” Trump reportedly said.
A few minutes later, Trump invited Kelly and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who were soon joined by Vice President Mike Pence, to come in and went on to squelch the rumor about his desire to fire his chief of staff.
“I have a very good relationship with him. And if I didn’t, I’d have no problem, I’d say, ‘John, time to go.’ But you know what? I’m very happy with him. He’s happy with me,” Trump maintained.
The president also dismissed speculation that he had offered Kelly’s job to Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers.
Asked what he thought of Trump, Kelly described him as a “great president.”
“Do we disagree sometimes? We do. My job is to make sure that that man has all of the information available from whatever source so that he makes the best decision, and then, when that decision is made, my job is to then implement that decision. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no chaos in this building. We’ve gotten rid of a few bad actors, but everyone works very, very well together,” the chief of staff told Nuzzi.
In his recently released book, entitled “Fear: Trump in the White House,” renowned Watergate journalist Bob Woodward depicted the current administration as being in a state of “nervous breakdown.”
Woodward alleged that Kelly had repeatedly told his colleagues that he thought the president was “unhinged.”
“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had,” Kelly was reported to have said at a small group meeting, the book claimed.
Both Trump and Kelly have denied Woodward’s allegations.