As soon as John Kelly finished with his surprise visit to the White House briefing Thursday afternoon, the Fox News anchors were singing praises about his ability to relate to the masses, finding the White House Chief of Staff extremely genuine. They also suggested that the media had an “appetite” for John Kelly and that they were “famished” for a question and answer event with the White House Chief of Staff, which they got Thursday afternoon.
As Politico also reported on General Kelly making a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room today to “push back against media reports that his relationship with Donald Trump is approaching a breaking point.” Kelly was very quick to come to the point of his appearance at the podium, addressing the media reports and what they’ve written about him.
He did not call them out for “fake news.” Kelly, instead, opted to make a suggestion to the room full of reporters in front of him. That suggestion entailed this group finding more accurate sources for their news reports. Kelly conveyed that he was giving the reporters “the benefit of the doubt” when it came to them reporting what their sources were saying, but this only means that better sources are needed for the future.
Kelly clarified his role in the White House and that doesn’t include being the gatekeeper to Trump’s tweets. He also said he is not so frustrated that he is thinking of throwing in the towel and that when he saw Donald Trump earlier today, the president gave no indication that he is planning on firing him.
NPR also summed up Kelly’s talking points at the White House briefing today. They report that “He isn’t going anywhere, he is not frustrated by President Trump’s use of Twitter and he is not trying to micromanage the president.”
Published articles this week suggest that Trump and Kelly were at odds, which came from both Vanity Fair and the Washington Post, according to Politico.
The Post also summed up the Trump-Kelly relationship as “irreparable” and replacements for Kelly’s position have already been floated within Trump’s inner circle. Trump reacted to these reports on Twitter in a way that is described as coming to Kelly’s defense, which is what Politico suggests.
“The Fake News is at it again, this time trying to hurt one of the finest people I know, General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be fired. This story is totally made up by the dishonest media. The Chief is doing a FANTASTIC job for me and, more importantly, for the USA!”
Kelly lightly slammed the media, but in a way that would be hard for anyone, in particular, to take offense from what he was saying.
“I read in the paper — well you all know, you write it — that, you know, I’ve been a failure at controlling the president or a failure at controlling his tweeting and all that. Again, I was not sent in, or I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president so that he can make the best decisions. When we go in to see him now, rather than onesies and twosies, we go in and help him collectively understand what he needs to understand to make these vital decisions. “
One reporter asked if Trump’s tweets make Kelly’s job more “difficult.” Kelly’s answer was a straightforward “no.”
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]