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Kelly repeatedly told aides Trump wasn't up for job as president: report

The Hill logo The Hill 12/30/2018 Justin Wise

a close up of a man: Kelly repeatedly told aides Trump wasn't up for job as president: report © Stefani Reynolds Kelly repeatedly told aides Trump wasn't up for job as president: report Outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly has frequently told aides that President Trump is not up for the task of being president, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper, citing two former administration officials, also reported that Kelly was known to tell aides that he had the "worst job in the world."

The report arrived after Kelly, who is set to leave the White House next month, made critical statements about the administration and Trump in an expansive interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Among other things, Kelly said that the border wall that Trump has repeatedly demanded is not actually a wall.

"To be honest, it's not a wall," Kelly said to the newspaper. "The president still says 'wall' - oftentimes frankly he'll say 'barrier' or 'fencing,' now he's tended toward steel slats.

"But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it."

Kelly added that Customs and Border Protection agents told him during his brief stint as Homeland Security secretary that they need physical barriers in some areas. But they largely indicated a desire for new technology and additional personnel, he said.

The Times noted that this isn't the first time Kelly has taken issue with Trump's stances related to immigration.

He said on Fox News earlier this year that Trump's views on the issue weren't "fully informed," a comment that reportedly made the president furious.

"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it," Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president's long-standing desire for a wall led to a partial government shutdown earlier this month. He is currently demanding $5 billion in funding for the structure, something Democrats have rejected.

Kelly will leave the White House after serving for about 17 months as chief of staff.

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