John Kelly rebukes claim he called President Trump 'moron' or 'idiot'

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has denied a report that he called President Donald Trump an "idiot".

The publication presents the testimony of four officials who, according to them, heard Kelly called trump an "idiot" numerous times.

While the news channel NBC responded with: "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".

Kelly reacted swiftly, calling the report "total BS ".

"I spend more time with the president than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship", Kelly said in a statement.

"He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS", he added, referring to the report from NBC News.

After the release in January of "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", a tell-all book about the infighting within the administration, Tillerson defended Trump's mental fitness.

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Kelly might still survive this new controversy and his quick and summary dismissal of the NBC News report might help -Tillerson never fully and decidedly distanced himself from the "moron" remarks - but speculation about an imminent exits from the White House have tended to come true, in time. "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.

Another senior administration official said while Trump and his chief of staff have had disagreements, Kelly has never used that kind of language to criticize Trump.

"The President hates reading these stories", an official said. The report added that Trump was growing exhausted of Kelly's attitude.

"Kelly appears to be less engaged, which may be to the president's detriment", a second senior White House official said.

The White House spokespeople conceded that Trump gets frustrated at times with Kelly, particularly when he feels Kelly is not giving him all the information he needs and wants.

Moreover, a number of people whom Kelly ousted or blocked from the West Wing - including Lewandowski and Anthony Scaramucci - are known to frequently fill the president's ears with attacks on the chief of staff while telling Trump that Kelly has been holding him back.

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