Report says WH chief of staff called Trump an 'idiot'; Kelly denies

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During one exchange between Kelly and Trump early in 2018, sources said, Kelly made a strong case to keep US troops in South Korea, changing the president's mind about ordering the complete withdrawal from the region.

'He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS.

It's a frightening way from a chief of staff to be describing the most powerful person in the world, but Acosta reports that Kelly's disparaging assessment came after Trump made comments that many in the country found jarring.

White House chief of staff John Kelly denied reports that he had insulted President Trump and was growing frustrated with the job.

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It added that Mr Trump was growing exhausted of General Kelly's attitude. ABC News reported two days after Porter resigned that Trump was so furious over Kelly's handling of the situation that he spoke with confidantes about possibly replacing Kelly. Kelly provided Trump with two names for consideration: Kobach and Kelly's deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen.

NBC said that Kelly has eroded morale in the West Wing in recent months with comments to aides that include insulting the president's intelligence and casting himself as the saviour of the country.

"I don't think anybody is surprised that he and the President have had disagreements in the past", the official said.

In the course of the assembly, Kelly reportedly stated that Trump "does not even perceive what DACA is".

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White House spokespeople cited by NBC said they hadn't seen Kelly have a negative effect on the morale of women working in the White House.

They also said Kelly is actually the "bigger gentleman" who steps in when aides use foul language to note "a lady is present" and who apologizes if he curses in front of a woman.

Stephanie Ruhle, one of the reporters behind the NBC article, defended the veracity of the story's contents on Monday, telling Kelly in a tweet that it was people "on your team" who recounted stories of "you (not us) undermining [the president's] credibility".

Kelly was responding to reports that first appeared on NBC News, which said there was tension between Trump and his chief of staff. "We've got to save him from himself".

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