According to a new report, White House chief of staff John Kelly recently went nuclear on President Donald Trump, threatened to quit and was even in the process of packing his personal belongings when he was talked off the ledge.
Axios first reported the news.
What are the details?
- On March 28, Kelly "blew up" at Trump in the Oval Office, then stormed out threatening to quit.
- Sources said it wasn't related to the firing of VA Secretary David Shulkin, which happened the same day.
- A senior administration official told Axios that saying Kelly threatened to leave is "probably too strong, it was more venting frustration."
- DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who Axios reported is the person Kelly most trusts in the administration, came to calm Kelly and talk him off the ledge.
- It is not the first time Kelly has threatened to quit, and this latest threat comes at a time the White House is becoming increasingly volatile.
The Washington Post published a similar story over the weekend with detailed accounts of the heated exchanges between Trump and Kelly.
On one instance, Trump reportedly berated Kelly for insisting he install Nielsen at Homeland Security, complaining that Kelly didn't inform him that Nielsen is "a [expletive] George W. Bush person." And in January, Trump reportedly berated Kelly for an interview he gave on Fox News, where he said Trump's immigration views had yet to become fully evolved.
But on March 28, Kelly was so frustrated with Trump that it took both Nielsen and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to talk Kelly off the ledge, according to the Post. And it's becoming a weekly ordeal for the White House.
"It’s sort of a weekly event," an administration official told the Post.
Indeed, as the Post goes into exhaustive detail, the relationship between Trump and Kelly has become strained just eight months into Kelly' tenure as chief of staff. But, as the Post noted, Trump's relationship with Kelly might still be one of the best in the West Wing because the president respects Kelly and listens to what he says.
What did Trump say?
He responded to the Post's story on Twitter, claiming the story is "far more fiction than fact."
The Washington Post is far more fiction than fact. Story after story is made up garbage - more like a poorly writte… https://t.co/cNgsBmnJlE— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1523188693.0