Kelly says report he called Trump an idiot is 'total BS'
Posted April 30, 2018 4:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2018 5:18 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — White House chief of staff John Kelly defended his relationship with President Donald Trump Monday after NBC reported that he has called President Donald Trump an "idiot."
The NBC report claimed, among other things, that Kelly had said during an immigration-related meeting that he needed to "save (Trump) from himself" while insulting the President's intelligence by calling him an "idiot."
"I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS," Kelly said in a statement. "I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration's many successes."
A senior administration official who was in the room for the immigration meeting said Kelly never called the President an idiot there, as the NBC report claimed.
"That's complete BS. I was in the room for that meeting," the official told CNN. "I don't know who's out for him, but that's crap."
The official said Kelly and Trump were meeting in the Oval Office when the story broke on TV.
The senior administration official said while Trump and his chief of staff have had disagreements, Kelly has never used that kind of language to criticize Trump.
"I don't think anybody is surprised that he and the President have had disagreements in the past," the official said.