Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has stayed quiet about President Donald Trump in public, but on Friday, CNN learned that Kelly had called Trump "the most flawed person" he's ever known in private. Kelly was Trump's chief of staff from July of 2017 to January of 2019, when he was unceremoniously dismissed. Now, the esteemed U.S. Military commander's true feelings have reportedly been revealed.
"The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life," Kelly told his friends. The quote comes from a new CNN special called The Insiders: A Warning from Former Trump Officials, which is set to premiere on Sunday night. It examines Kelly and other high-profile Trump administration officials who have left the White House, including former national security adviser John Bolton, former Health and Human Services scientist Rick Bright and former Department of Homeland Security general counsel John Mitnick.
Former WH COS John Kelly has told friends, about Trump: “The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life." pic.twitter.com/IUdT2KgSGr— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 16, 2020
Unlike Kelly, however, Bolton, Bright and Mitnick appear in the special, personally attesting to their experience with Trump firsthand. Other officials in the special reportedly vouch for this Kelly quote in person, but it is not clear who.
Another major bombshell coming up in the special is an interview with Olivia Troye, who previously served as a top adviser to Vice President Mike Pence. Troye told CNN that Trump knew the full danger of the coronavirus pandemic as early as mid-February, but continued on a destructive course for his own ends. She said: "he didn't want to hear it, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year."
Other advisers in the special comment on Trump's penchant for conspiracy theories, his hesitance to openly condemn White supremacists and other major issues of the last four years. Among these condemnations, Kelly's quote stands out simply because it is so rare. Although he worked for the president and, before that, as the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kelly has tried to remain apolitical in the public eye, treating his government appointments with military-like objectivity.
Trump has not done the same, impugning Kelly in public as recently as February. At the time, he tweeted: "When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn't do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn't for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X's, he misses the action & just can't keep his mouth shut."