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Trump's Genius Was Too Much for Kelly, Says White House

President disputes that chief of staff warned of impeachment as he quit
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2019 7:55 AM CDT
Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, leans in to talk with President Trump in the Oval Office in 2018.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – John Kelly did not see impeachment coming when he resigned, President Trump says: "He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does." The president was responding to Kelly's interview with the Washington Examiner, in which he said he regretted leaving late last year as Trump's chief of staff. "It pains me to see what's going on," Kelly said, "because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place." The retired four-star Marine general said Trump needs a top aide who will counter the president's worst instincts, so he told Trump not to hire a "yes man" to replace him. "If you do, I believe you will be impeached," Kelly said he told the president. That would seem to be a shot at Kelly's replacement, Mick Mulvaney.

In a White House statement Saturday, Trump remembered their conversations differently, per the Washington Post. "John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that," the president said. "If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office." The statement included an assessment from Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, who said Kelly "was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President." Kelly said he agreed to not write a book about his tenure, at least until after Trump's presidency. (Mulvaney hasn't always helped the president's cause.)

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