Three leading Trump administration figures said Sunday that chief of staff John Kelly is not going anywhere.
Budget director Mick Mulvaney, adviser Kellyanne Conway and director of legislative affairs Marc Short all responded to questions on Sunday morning shows by saying they saw no indication that Kelly is about to leave his position at the White House. Kelly has most recently faced backlash after revelations that he failed to remove Rob Porter, an aide accused of domestic abuse, until the news about Porter was reported in the press.
Story Continued Below
Mulvaney said he has “absolutely not” been approached about replacing John Kelly as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. “I think all the stories about replacing Gen. Kelly are from people who are unhappy they’ve lost access to the president,” Mulvaney told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It’s much ado about nothing,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney said it was a “very human reaction” for Trump and Kelly to initially give Porter the benefit of the doubt.
“As soon as Rob Porter was proven wrong, it was proven he was not telling the truth when the photos came out on Wednesday, he was gone almost immediately,” he said. Photographs were published of one of Porter’s ex-wives with a bruised eye.
Mulvaney also suggested that a tweet Saturday in which Trump wrote “Lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation” was actually a reference to businessman and former Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn. The casino magnate resigned from the RNC on Jan. 27 after harassment allegations against him were reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Wynn “has been accused and has been condemned without any due process,” Mulvaney said.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Conway said the president has “full confidence” in Kelly.
“I spoke with the president last night about this very issue,” she said, “and he wanted me to reemphasize to everyone, including this morning, that he has full confidence in his current chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, and that he is not actively searching for replacements.”
She also said the allegations about Porter were startling but that his departure was necessary.
“This is not the Rob Porter any of us have worked with,” she said, adding: “We are a nation of laws, we are a nation of due process, and all sides should be heard out. But you also can’t ignore what you see in front of you.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Short said Kelly “has not offered his resignation.”
“Gen. Kelly, in my mind, is an American hero,” Short told Chuck Todd. “There’s few families in America that have sacrificed more for our country. John Kelly knows that he serves at the pleasure of the president, and he will step aside as soon as — anytime the president doesn’t want him to be there. But John Kelly has not offered his resignation.”
Like Conway, Short said the White House was startled by the news about Porter.
“When you’ve been working with somebody for a year,” Short said, “your first instinct is to say that doesn’t match up with the person I know inside our office. But that doesn’t mean that once you learn that actual extent of the allegations, that you have any tolerance for it. And Gen. Kelly had no tolerance for it.”
This news collected from :Source link