President Donald Trump dismissed his reported frustration with General John Kelly after his chief of staff contradicted the president in a Fox News interview.
“He is great, I think he is doing a great job,” Trump said during comments to reporters on a trip to Pennsylvania. “I think General Kelly is doing a really great job. He is a very special guy.”
Trump made his remarks after reports noted that the president was furious with his chief of staff.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Kelly described the president as “evolved” on issues like the wall and said that Mexico would not pay “directly” for the wall. Earlier in the day, reports leaked that Kelly described Trump as “uninformed” in a private meeting with House Democrats to discuss DACA amnesty.
But Trump was dismissive of the controversy on Thursday afternoon when asked by reporters about Kelly’s comments.
“No, he did not say that,” Trump said. “He didn’t say it the way you would like him to say it.”
But the president felt it necessary on Thursday morning to correct the perception that he had “evolved” on the wall.
“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” he wrote on Twitter, appearing to respond to Kelly’s interview.
The White House defended Kelly’s comments, asserting that Trump was more frustrated with the media for fueling the controversy.
“He’s upset with the media coverage about the interview and taking the Chief’s comments out of context,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday.
Shah said that Trump and Kelly continued to have a “great relationship,” which would continue.