Update 2: President Trump has now responded directly, blasting the "fake news making up false stories" as "totally unhinged."
The Fake News is going crazy making up false stories and using only unnamed sources (who don’t exist). They are totally unhinged, and the great success of this Administration is making them do and say things that even they can’t believe they are saying. Truly bad people!
The White House is running very smoothly despite phony Witch Hunts etc. There is great Energy and unending Stamina, both necessary to get things done. We are accomplishing the unthinkable and setting positive records while doing so! Fake News is going “bonkers!”
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Update 1: Bloomberg's White House correspondent Jennifer Jacobs reports that John Kelly has responeded to MSNBC's claim he calls Trump an “idiot.
“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. I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country.”
“This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump...”
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White House chief of staff John Kelly has reportedly been undermining morale in the West Wing in recent months - commenting to aides that President Trump is an idiot, while touting himself as the "savior of the country," reports NBC News, citing "eight current and former White House officials."
The officials said Kelly portrays himself to Trump administration aides as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. He has referred to Trump as "an idiot" multiple times to underscore his point, according to four officials who say they've witnessed the comments. -NBC News
NBC notes that three White House spokespeople say the "idiot" thing just isn't true, and he may have spoken in jest about saving the country.
In one heated exchange between the two men before February's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Kelly strongly — and successfully — dissuaded Trump from ordering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula, according to two officials.
For Kelly, the exchange underscored the reasoning behind one of his common refrains, which multiple officials described as some version of "I'm the one saving the country."
"The strong implication being 'if I weren't here we would've entered WWIII or the president...