Chief of Staff John Kelly has reportedly been telling staffers that he is protecting President Donald Trump from impeachment and saving the future of the United States, according to a report from NBC News Monday.
One senior White House official familiar with Kelly‘s conversations told NBC Kelly’s tone strongly implied “‘if I weren’t here we would’ve entered WWIII or the president would have been impeached.”
The report makes several stunning accusations against Kelly, including allegations that the chief of staff has called Trump an idiot on multiple occasions.
“He doesn’t even understand what DACA is. He’s an idiot,” Kelly allegedly said according to two sources who were present during the remark. “We’ve got to save him from himself.”
Several White House spokespeople, who refused to speak to NBC on record, rebuffed claims that Kelly would speak of Trump in such a manor, though conceded that Kelly may have been critical of the president’s understanding of immigration policy.
The spokespeople continued to assert that Kelly’s reported demeanor has not affected morale around the West Wing or indicate that he is less engaged in his role.
Though other sources familiar with Kelly offered that he chides Trump when speaking candidly with lawmakers and expect the general to leave his post by July.
“Kelly appears to be less engaged, which may be to the president’s detriment,” a senior White House official told NBC.
Other sources added that Kelly takes particular notice of women; one individual familiar with his behavior said that the chief of staff will remark “a lady is present” if one of his colleagues uses an explicit curse word. He also, allegedly, believes that broadly speaking, women are more emotional than men.
Those in the administration who’ve pushed back on the president have not seen a kind fate.
Over the summer, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron” during a Pentagon meeting. When pressed by reporters on the supposed remark, Tillerson dodged, saying he was “not going to deal with petty stuff like that.” Several months later, Tillerson was ousted via Twitter and replaced with CIA director Mike Pompeo.
The White House nor Kelly has yet to release an official statement on the remarks, though it will likely be discussed in this week’s daily press briefings.