President Donald Trump defended his chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, despite reports that their relationship had diminished in recent weeks.
“General Kelly is doing a fantastic job, there’s been such false reporting about our relationship, we have a great relationship, he’s doing a great job as chief of staff. I could not be more happy,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
The president made his remarks to White House reporters on Friday as he boarded Air Force One for a trip to Dallas, Texas with Kelly at his side.
Trump dismissed a report from the New York Times that the relationship was strained and that Kelly was “eyeing the exits,” calling it “absolutely false.” On Monday, NBC News reported that Kelly believed Trump was an “idiot.”
Kelly told reporters that it was “an absolute privilege” to work for Trump, citing the good news on the economy, the diplomatic progress with North Korea, and the ongoing fight against the opioid addiction crisis.
“I mean everything is going phenomenally well … it’s nothing less than brilliant what’s been accomplished in 15 months, I believe,” Kelly said.
Trump previously backed Kelly in January, despite his chief of staff suggesting that the president had “evolved” in his thinking about the wall on the Southern border.
“Long hours and Fake reporting makes your job more difficult, but it is always great to WIN, and few have won more than us!” Trump wrote on Twitter.