White House chief of staff John Kelly addressed rumors on Thursday that he plans to quit his job or expects to be fired by President Trump.
“I would just offer to you that although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I’m not quitting today. I don’t believe, and I just talked to the president, I don’t think I’m being fired today,” Kelly said during a surprise appearance at the daily White House press briefing.
Numerous reports have come out recently alleging that Kelly and Trump have butted heads and that the former Marine general will soon leave the administration. On Wednesday, Kelly’s top aide, Kirstjen Nielsen, was nominated by Trump to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a position vacated by Kelly when he took over as chief of staff in July.
In his candid remarks on Thursday, Kelly acknowledged that White House chief of staff is the most taxing job he’s ever had.
“I would tell you, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I’ve ever had,” he said, adding that the White House role is not “the best job” he’s ever had. Kelly said he is most fond of his job as an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman.
Asked whether he has any frustrations with his position, Kelly cited one.
“My only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read things I allegedly said or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said, or people who were going to be fired…and it’s just not true. That’s my frustration.”
“I am not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving,” he added.
“Unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired, and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow.”