Sources with knowledge of the inner workings of the West Wing told CNN that President Donald Trump and Kelly have recently stopped speaking.
He reportedly clashed with several members of the administration, including national security adviser John Bolton, the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Politico reported. Tension between Bolton and Kelly spilled out into the public earlier this year when The Washington Post reported Kelly stormed out of the White House after getting into a shouting match with Bolton over immigration.
Reports indicate that the relationship between Trump and Kelly has long been fraught with tension. Former FBI director James Comey said in his book, “A Higher Loyalty,” that Kelly was “sick about my firing” in May 2017 and that he intended to quit in protest of Trump’s decision.
NBC News reported in April that Kelly called Trump “an idiot” who he needed to “save from himself” during a tense meeting on immigration. Kelly later denied making such a statement and claimed he and the president had “an incredibly candid and strong relationship,” according to NBC News.
Kelly faced criticism earlier this year after two of former staff secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wives went public with allegations of domestic abuse. Porter denied the allegations, but submitted his resignation Feb. 7 amid public outcry.
In a statement released after the revelations first surfaced, Kelly stood behind Porter, who he called “a man of true integrity and honor.” He appeared to walk back his comments in a subsequent statement, amid criticism based on reports that the White House knew of the allegations long before Porter’s resignation.
The allegations held up the security clearance process for Porter, who was only ever issued a temporary clearance. Amid the media furor, Kelly moved to end or downgrade temporary clearances for all staff members, including some, like Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had regular access to top secret U.S. documents.
Kelly joined the Trump Administration as the secretary of Homeland Security in January 2017. Six months later, he was appointed as chief of staff after Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Preibus, submitted his resignation amid tension with Trump.
White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House October 5, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Mattis said this week that the U.S. and allies are 'holding the line' against the Taliban in Afghanistan as forecasts of a significant offensive by the militants remain unfulfilled. (Photo by
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