"I think in some cases, in terms of staffing or serving the president, that first six months was pretty chaotic, and there were people, some people hired, that maybe shouldn't have", Mr. Kelly told NPR.
Asked about the embarrassment comment, Kelly told a group of reporters later Friday that he "corrected that and said 'distracted."' Asked if the president was distracted by the probe, Kelly said, "It's untrue, it's a witch hunt, right, and it distracts him - not too much, but it's unfair". I mean they, they seldom wrote or did the story you wanted to read, naturally, but they were really professional in trying to get the accurate aspect of every story", Kelly recounted, adding "it wasn't personal.
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally on May 10, 2018 in Elkhart, Indiana.
His only regret is that he did not come into the job sooner, Kelly said.More news: Takeaways From Trump's Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices
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Kelly, who'd previously been co of Homeland Security, became White House chief of staff at July immediately after the death of Reince Priebus. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. I always give my opinion on everything.
During the interview airing on Thursday's "Morning Edition", Kelly also cast doubt on what special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe into Russian election meddling could turn up.
Though Kelly has often been cited as one of the "adults in the room" helping to control Trump's worst impulses, Heilemann's comments make it clear that in fact, Kelly shares numerous president's biggest flaws. Now questions have also been raised about the future of Kelly's successor at the DHS, Kirstjen Nielsen.
Trump has pursued his crackdown on legal and illegal immigration since becoming president, promising to strengthen the nation's borders and to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Spokesman Tyler Houlton tweeted: "The NY Times article alleging that the secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false". "I share his frustration".