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John Kelly says he warned Trump he would be impeached if he picked a 'yes man' to replace him

"I said whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,'..."

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly says he regrets leaving the office because he warned President Donald Trump about impeachment, and thinks he could have prevented it.

Kelly made the comments in an interview at the Sea Island Summit, an event hosted by the Washington Examiner.

"I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,' someone who won't tell you the truth — don't do that," Kelly said.

"Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached," he added.

Democrats are operating an impeachment inquiry and it is believed they will vote on impeachment before the 2020 election. They have premised their inquiry on accusations of abuse of power based on claims of a "quid pro quo" by the president in a call with the Ukrainian president.

"That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving," Kelly added.

"It pains me to see what's going on because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place," he concluded.

Kelly appeared to imply that the impeachment proceedings were the fault of his successor, Mick Mulvaney.

If the president is impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, the matter will go to trial in the Senate, which can vote to remove the president. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and has said Democrats are engaged in a politically motivated "witch hunt."

Here's the latest on impeachment:

Trump impeachment: The most dramatic week yet - BBC News www.youtube.com

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