Former White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is no longer working for President Donald Trump and now he’s coming clean about his time serving in his former role.
The New York Times was in attendance when Kelly participated in a 90-minute Q&A at Duke University. His conservation included several hot button issues and, not surprisingly, the four-star general doesn’t agree with many of the Trump administration’s policies.
When Kelly was asked about Trump’s regular attacks against NATO, Kelly suggested the President is unable to divorce his own views from political concerns, causing issues with the long-standing alliance.
When asked about President Trump demanding a new security clearance for son-in-law Jared Kushner, Kelly said he was unable to provide a full overview of that demand.
“I couldn’t — and I’m not dodging — I couldn’t comment on that for a couple of reasons,” Mr. Kelly told the audience, noting that such conversations with the President would fall under executive privilege.
18-Months On The Job
In general, Kelly said serving under President Trump was his “least” favorite job to date while acknowledging that the work was still important. Kelly was also careful to note that he was serving the country and office and not the President, a clear sign that his feelings regarding Trump remind cold. Kelly said he “probably would have” worked for Clinton if she had made the same offer.
Kelly did note that after spending one-and-a-half years with the President, he felt Trump went from someone who “didn’t know how the system works” to a man who “understand how it works.”
A Waste Of Taxpayer Money
When speaking about Donald Trump’s “national emergency” wall, Kelly said he believed it was a massive “waste of money” when considering a “sea to shining sea” construction. However, Kelly did note that he believes strategically placed walls could help with immigration concerns.
Kelly also spoke about the Trump administration’s family separation policy which he says “came as a surprise.” Kelly also placed much of the blame for that policy on the now departed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Kelly also spoke out against Trump’s claims that most immigrants are criminals. “They’re overwhelmingly not criminals — they’re people coming up here for economic” purposes.
Before his departure, Kelly was often seen as Trump’s “voice of reason” a statement he appears to back up during his talk when noting that his job was to tell the President “what he needed to hear” without pandering to the President’s massive ego.
The Washington Post created an excellent recap video of Kelly’s White House relationship with Trump which you can watch below.