White House Chief of Staff John Kelly last year called Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren an “impolite arrogant woman” in an email to an aide after taking a phone call with her regarding President Trump’s travel ban.
The email from Feb. 8, 2017, obtained and published on Thursday by Buzzfeed as a part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, was written to Kevin Carroll, Kelly’s then-senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, where Kelly was serving as secretary.
“Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,” Kelly wrote. “What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.”
Kelly was referring to an early 2017 temporary restraining order issued by federal judges blocking President Trump’s executive order that would have banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States.
Warren called Trump’s travel ban illegal during a protest she attended soon after Trump issued the executive order at Logan International Airport in Boston, where a number of people were detained. A congressional source familiar with Warren’s phone call with Kelly told BuzzFeed News that the senator’s staff had tried to obtain information from the Department of Homeland Security about her constituents, some of whom held visas, who were detained at Logan beginning on Jan. 29, 2017. But the staffers were unsuccessful. Warren then reached out to Kelly, who didn’t respond to her for a week. When Kelly finally called Warren, she told him she had been trying to reach him, which Kelly denied. Warren described her staff’s numerous email exchanges with Kelly and their conversation then became heated.
“Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her to be quiet again!” Carroll responded to Kelly. “Warren is running for president so early, trying too hard, and chasing bad pitches.”