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John Kelly denies calling Trump an 'idiot'

John Kelly denies calling Trump an 'idiot'”

"I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship", Kelly said in a statement.

"He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS", Kelly told NBC News on Monday. "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration's many successes".

Kelly arrived to a chaotic White House, after Priebus's exit, that allowed walk-in access to the president to a number of aides and family members such as daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. "He'll say it and you think, 'That is not what you should be saying'".

Kelly referred to Trump as "unhinged" during a meeting with the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and senior National Security Council officials, the senior administration official added. Three White House spokespeople said they'd never heard Kelly call anyone an idiot and that if he did say he was saving the country, he was doing so in jest.

Spokespersons: They haven't seen any negative effects of Kelly's comments on female staffers, but said off the record that Kelly may have possibly said that women are more emotional than men.

Kelly's top aide, Zachary Fuentes, also disputed the characterization, saying he had never heard Kelly describe the president that way.

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The public revelation of an insult directed at the president's intelligence is reminiscent of leaks a year ago that then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a "moron".

As noted by The Hill, "NBC cited eight current and former officials for its story".

"The President hates reading these stories", an official said. Kelly reportedly asked how much Porter "would have to endure" and wondered why his ex-wives "wouldn't just move on". Kelly, who has cast himself as safeguarding the public from the president, has also threatened to quit the White House on several occasions. But others say it's anyone's guess.

CNN followed with a separate report claiming that sources said Kelly said during a meeting with senior national security officials that Trump was becoming "unhinged" after suggesting that the USA would soon be removing troops from Syria.

"Kelly appears to be less engaged, which may be to the president's detriment", a second senior White House official said.

Kelly has also told confidants that he has at times served as a guardrail, protecting the American people from Trump, according to a person familiar with his views.



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