White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said he has never seriously considered leaving his post and his only regret is not arriving sooner, according to an NPR interview late Thursday. But he later clarified that the president is "distracted".
When asked specifically if the Russian Federation probe was a "cloud" hanging over the Trump administration, Kelly said the investigation comes up in meetings with world leaders. "When world leaders come in, it's kind of like you know Bibi Netanyahu [of Israel] is here and he - who's under investigation himself - and it's like, you know, you walk in and you know the first couple of minutes of every conversation might revolve around that kind of thing".
Asked if it was a "cloud" handing over the presidency, he said: "There may not be a cloud, but certainly the president is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly". Kelly first said that "most" undocumented immigrants "are not bad people", but followed it up by saying "they don't integrate well; they don't have skills".
Kelly said the undocumented immigrants don't speak English and are "overwhelmingly rural people" from countries where "fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm". They're not criminals. They're not MS13, ' he said of the violent gang. "They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing", Kelly continued, propagating xenophobic beliefs that have marked the Trump era since the presidential campaign.
Kelly, who'd previously been co of Homeland Security, became White House chief of staff at July immediately after the death of Reince Priebus.
"The difference between 690 and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn't sign up", Kelly added. Despite occasional "periods of great frustration", he characterized Trump as a "pretty bright" and "super smart" guy, and again brushed off persistent rumors that he daydreams about quitting his job and retiring to a quiet life of self-loathing. President Trump apparently yelled at Ms. Nielsen and blamed her for the issues at the border. "They don't integrate well; they don't have skills", he claimed. The New York Times reported that she had drafted but not submitted a resignation letter after Trump lambasted her at a meeting for failing, in his view, to secure U.S. borders.