Media Aghast as John Kelly Says He's Staying at His White House Job

There has been widespread speculation that John Kelly has been unhappy with his job as White House chief of staff, and that he would quit soon. He has seemed squirmy as President Trump goes goes off script during public addresses, and has allegedly given negative feedback to Trump over some of his positions. Especially on foreign affairs, and North Korea specifically, Kelly is said to dislike what the president is doing. But today, in a rare press availability, Kelly denied a lot of this speculation.

He said that, actually, his only frustrations are that the media has taken such a hostile view of the Trump administration, and that President Obama left a lot of things to be fixed. He said, “It is astounding to me how much is misreported.” He said that much of what he sees in the news about Trump or himself “is just not true.” And citing the economy, healthcare, and international affairs, he said, “I don’t mean any criticism to Mr. Trump’s predecessors, but there were an awful lot of things that were in my view were kicked down the road that have come home to roost.”

Retired General John Kelly took over the chief role at the White House after Reince Priebus was let go. Trump also got rid of Steve Bannon at around the same time, and there were media predictions that Kelly was going to be a voice for more globalism (as opposed to nationalism), and for more rational responses to global crises. But, as Kim Jong-un riled up Trump more and more, and after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, many assumed that Kelly wasn’t having the influence he wanted. Also, there were reports that Trump did not like the way Kelly was limiting his information sources. But today, he really confronted a lot of those rumors.

He also said that Trump’s tweeting does not make his job any harder, disputing yet more media hyperbole. He emphasized that President Trump too feels as though the biggest frustration is how he’s portrayed in the media. That, and how slow the legislative process is compared to how quickly transactions can be managed in the business world.

Seems like Kelly’s here to stay.

“I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired.”–

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A lot of what the media says, “is just not true.”–

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“What are his [President Trump’s] frustrations right now?”–

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“Do his tweets make your job more difficult?”–