Tags: Trump Administration | priebus | john kelly | rob porter

Priebus Denies Reports Trump Complained To Him About Kelly

Priebus Denies Reports Trump Complained To Him About Kelly
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 10 February 2018 02:31 PM

Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is denying a report in The New York Times that he'd talked with President Donald Trump about his successor John Kelly following the controversy over ex-staff secretary Rob Porter.

"The president has never complained to me about Gen. Kelly," Priebus told MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt in an interview airing Saturday. "Number one, he didn’t do that. But number two, I would never bring up such a subject. I’m not going to sit around and talk about the management of the West Wing. I don’t, that just didn’t happen."

The Times article claimed that Trump has "little tolerance" for aides who attract negative attention, and Kelly has been in the news for initially defending Porter, who has been accused by two ex-wives for spousal abuse. In addition, Kelly also was criticized after saying some immigrants were "too lazy" to seek legal status in the United States.

"I like John Kelly a lot," said Priebus, a former Republican National Committee chairman. "I think he’s an American hero. It’s a huge job. And I have to say, you know, I used to say you know, what everyone, what anyone thinks the job is, just multiply it by 50."

Priebus said he did not know about the claims that have been made by Porter's ex-wives, saying that he always found the staffer to be "what everyone described."

He also said it was not unusual for someone to be working in the White House with a temporary security clearance, like Porter had been.

"I got my temporary at the end of December," said Priebus. "I don’t think I got my actual permanent until April, and I have nothing. I’ve got no liens. I’ve got no divorces...it just takes a long time."

Meanwhile, Priebus spoke with investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller's team last week, and while he couldn't discuss the exact details, he referred to the questioners as "polite" and "professional" and said he never felt like he was "being trapped."

Priebus also said in the Saturday interview that he does speak with Trump, but not often.

"I care a lot about him and what he wants to do," said Priebus, adding that he also sometimes talks to former campaign strategist Steve Bannon.

Priebus also discussed the Carter Page FISA warrant issue, calling it a "political mess from the beginning."

"There’s no way when people say you know, we can’t insert politics into what’s happening with these investigations, the problem is it is political," said Priebus. "You can see it. People are people. And you see the texts between the two folks having an affair, politics is everywhere...I think it’s really awful the way that this is all playing out. I also, but I also agree that it doesn’t, it doesn’t taint the work, I believe, that Bob Mueller is doing on the other piece of the investigation."

He also said he would never recommend for Trump to fire Mueller, but "that presumes the president needs that advice. He doesn't need that advice because he’s not going to do it."

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Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is denying a report in The New York Times that he'd talked with President Donald Trump about his successor John Kelly following the controversy over ex-staff secretary Rob Porter.
priebus, john kelly, rob porter
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2018-31-10
Saturday, 10 February 2018 02:31 PM
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