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John Kelly's Game of 'What If' Leads to a Reveal

WH's ex-chief of staff under Trump says he likely would've worked for Hillary Clinton if asked
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2019 9:45 AM CST
In this June 21, 2018, photo, White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as President Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – John Kelly's exit interview after he left his post as White House chief of staff at the end of last year likely rankled the president in more ways than one, and his newest remarks may not please Trump, either. The Hill reports Kelly was doing a Q&A Wednesday at Duke University when he touched on a "what if" scenario. "If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, and she had called me and said ... 'I really need a good chief of staff here,' I'd have probably done it," Kelly can be heard saying in audio obtained by ABC News, via Mediaite. "Politics aside, it's all about governing the country."

Kelly called his stint at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue "the least enjoyable job" he's ever had, but also the most important one, per ABC reporter Cecilia Vega. Kelly also joked about advice he'd give to the guy who took over for him: current acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. "Run for it," Kelly quipped, though he then offered the more sobering tip of telling Trump "what he needs to hear." (Recent reports claim Trump pressured Kelly to grant security clearances to his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner—and Kelly reportedly refused.)

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