WASHINGTON — White House Chief of Staff John Kelly insisted Thursday he’s not quitting or being fired — for now.
“Unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow,” the retired Marine Corps general and former secretary of homeland security told reporters at the daily White House briefing as reports swirled that he’s frustrated as the provocative president’s top aide.
“I don’t think I’m being fired today, and I’m not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving,” he said.
The extraordinary statement drew a bit of laughter, but it reflected serious turmoil in the top ranks of the White House that has persisted since the Donald Trump was inaugurated as the nation’s 45th president.
As the president churned out tweets that have been factually inaccurate and started or continued feuds, many of his original top aides have left or been fired. Gone is Kelly’s predecessor, Reince Priebus; press secretary Sean Spicer, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, to name a few.
Reports have emerged that Kelly is unhappy in the job as Trump’s legislative agenda stalls, as Trump picks fights with NFL players who kneel during the national anthem and as Trump blames Puerto Rico for its ongoing misery after Hurricane Maria,
Kelly’s extraordinary statements are the latest examples of Trump administration officials professing their loyalty publicly Trump, refuting reports that suggest problems in the chaotic administration.
Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly reiterated his support for Trump after reports that he had called the president a “moron.”