'Profanity-Laced' Blowout Startles West Wing Staffers

John Kelly and John Bolton have a loud disagreement about the southern border
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2018 5:32 PM CDT
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, talks with, White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, center, in the Oval Office .   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – There was shouting in the West Wing on Thursday, and it was even more intense than usual, sources tell CNN. The blowup—"profanity-laced," per Bloomberg— between Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton was related to an ongoing disagreement over how to handle increased crossings at the Mexico border. Sources tell CNN that Bolton took a verbal swipe at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Kelly's former deputy at the DHS, saying she needs to start doing her job. President Trump reportedly sided with Bolton, further angering Kelly.

It got so bad that startled staffers speculated that Kelly would resign, a source tells Bloomberg. Sources say that Trump is aware of the argument, although he later told reporters, "I've not heard about it. No," according to CNN, which adds that arguing is commonplace "in this divided West Wing" but the Kelly-Bolton blowup "went well beyond" what is typical. Later, a White House official said everyone had cooled off and Kelly was not going anywhere. (Trump is threatening to shut down the border.)

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