White House pushes back against reports that Kelly called Trump an 'idiot'

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington Tuesday Jan. 31 2017 to discuss the operational implementation of the president’s executive orders. (AP

Carol Lee, Courtney Kube, Kristen Welker and Stephanie Ruhle of NBC teamed up for a story headlined, "Kelly thinks he's saving USA from disaster, calls Trump 'idiot, ' say White House staffers".

"I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country".

The Wall Street Journal cited a White House source on Monday who said '[t] here have been discussions among the senior staff and the president directly about the possibility of Gen. Kelly going there [to the VA]'.

As The Hill details, Bornstein alleges that the three men associated with Trump were in his NY medical office for about 25 to 30 minutes and they left with the president's medical charts and lab reports.

Kelly's influence and position in the Whit House has also waned in recent months and reports have suggested Trump is not happy with his second chief of staff (the first was Reince Priebus) and has been annoyed by a perception that Kelly keeps his worst instincts and urges under check.

President Trump unleashed on "fake news" reports claiming that White House chief of staff John Kelly called him an "idiot". Kelly referred to Trump as "unhinged" during a meeting with the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and senior National Security Council officials, the senior administration official added.

The story cites three White House spokespeople, however, who say that they don't believe the comment was made.

She also pointed out that a similar incident occurred not long ago, when former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly described Trump as a "f*cking moron".

Bornstein said the original and only copy of Trump's charts, including lab reports under the president's name and various pseudonyms, were taken. "Tillerson declined to do so, simply saying he wouldn't play that Washington game". Another White House official said the tensions don't seem any more urgent or dramatic now, but acknowledged that this could accelerate Kelly's departure.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Trump is increasingly frustrated with Kelly, and a senior administration official said Monday that the feeling goes both ways.

During a press conference earlier this year, White House doctor Ronny Jackson provided a similarly glowing review of Trump's health.

Spokespersons: They don't believe the reports are accurate, and none of them have ever heard Kelly using that word about Trump or in any other situation.

Trump has reportedly chafed at Kelly's controlling management style, and has occasionally talked with friends about replacing him.

For months, Kelly has been the target of near constant reports of a shakeup at the top of the White House staff.

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