by Peter Hasson
White House chief of staff John Kelly is on the receiving end of more damaging leaks from unnamed West Wing staffers.
NBC News quoted eight current and former White House staffers in a story that described Kelly complaining about President Donald Trump.
Kelly frequently portrays himself as saving the country from destruction and has repeatedly called Trump an “idiot,” the anonymous officials claimed. The officials blamed Kelly for low morale in the White House and questioned his judgement.
“He says stuff you can’t believe,” one senior White House official told NBC News. “He’ll say it and you think, ‘That is not what you should be saying.’”
Kelly dismissed the NBC News report as “total BS” in a statement issued Monday evening.
“I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS,” Kelly said. “I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administrations many successes.”
The leaks are the latest indication that Kelly may be losing influence in the Trump administration.
Kelly’s public standing took a hit in February over his handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staffer Rob Porter.
Then, too, anonymous White House officials undermined Kelly in the media, leaking meeting details that portrayed the chief of staff in a negative light.
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This story has been updated to include Kelly’s statement.
Peter Hasson is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson.
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