President Donald Trump on Tuesday night rebuffed what he said was a news report claiming that his chief of staff “will soon be fired,” even though there appeared to be no such reporting by the national media.
“The Fake News is at it again, this time trying to hurt one of the finest people I know, General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be fired,” the president tweeted, without citing any media outlet.
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Trump added: “This story is totally made up by the dishonest media.The Chief is doing a FANTASTIC job for me and, more importantly, for the USA!”
A Vanity Fair report published on Monday called Kelly and Trump’s relationship “irreparable,” and a Washington Post article the same day cited sources in the president’s “inner circle” as floating potential replacements for the chief of staff should the dynamic in the West Wing become “unsustainable.” Neither report said that Kelly’s departure was on the horizon.
Trump has been vocal in his public support of Kelly, repeatedly praising the former homeland security secretary’s influence on the West Wing. On Saturday, Trump told reporters Kelly “will be here — in my opinion — for the entire seven remaining years.”
Over the past week the president has been outspoken in denouncing other reports alleging discontent within his administration.
On Saturday he said NBC News was “so knowingly inaccurate” after the network reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had contemplated resigning from his post over the summer over his frustration with the White House.
The president also shot back at the report for alleging that Tillerson had called him a “moron.” While he decried it as “fake news,” Trump added during an interview with Forbes published Tuesday: “If he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”
Last month, the president similarly characterized as “fake news” reports that he and Kelly disagreed on his stance toward National Football League players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.