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It is not rare for Sarah Sanders to let other administration officials take the White House press podium.
However, the room went silent when White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly took the podium Thursday for the first time in his new position. Kelly explained his lack of press availability, beginning his remarks by saying, “I've decided not to do too much with the press until I get my feet on the ground.”
It took Kelly, a Marine combat veteran of 45 years, approximately one minute to lay into the White House press and the leaks coming out of the White House. Kelly specifically addressed leaks from an “off the record” meeting he had with reporters earlier this year. Kelly said:
“Certainly as a Marine, I interacted with the press a great deal. I really needed to get to know the lay of the land. I've held three off the records coming into this job. The first one was, of course, violated. Thank you for all of you that didn’t violate the trust from those off the record periods.”
After hitting the press for violating off the record agreements, Kelly went on to call out poor and inaccurate reporting of his imminent departure or firing from the White House:
"I would just offer to you that, although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I am not quitting today. I don't believe, I don't think I am being fired today. I'm not so frustrated in this job that I am thinking of leaving. I would tell you, this is the hardest job I've ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I've ever had. I would offer, though, it is not the best job I've ever had.
Best job I've ever had is when I was an enlisted Marine. That was the best job I ever had. So unless things change, I'm not quitting, I'm not getting fired. I don't think I will fire anyone tomorrow."
Watch the video below.