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John Kelly Charms Press At Briefing Urging Them To "Develop Better Sources"
16 October 2017, 12:15 | Tara Lloyd
President Donald Trump is expected to pick Kirstjen Nielsen above to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Alex Brandon AP
Kelly's extraordinary statements are the latest examples of Trump administration officials professing their loyalty publicly Trump, refuting reports that suggest problems in the chaotic administration.
"Although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I'm not quitting today", Kelly, 67, said from the lectern in the White House briefing room, a position normally occupied by press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly reiterated his support for Trump after reports that he had called the president a "moron".
Kelly, the former secretary of Homeland Security, called his current job the "hardest" and "most important" he's "ever had".
Mr Kelly also gave an insight into Mr Trump's thinking, naming the press and Congress's inability to pass legislation as his the US President's biggest frustration.
'I restrict no one by the way from going in to see him.
But his 10 weeks on the job have been plagued with images of him looking forlorn amid speculation that he's frustrated and exhausted. "I don't think I'm being fired today, and I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving". "That's my frustration, and I mean no disrespect to youall".
Trump tweeted on October 10 that "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". "All I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country can not afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and many other places". "The best job I ever had as I've said many times is when I was an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman", Kelly added. "I was not sent in, I was not brought in, to control anything but the flow of information to the president so he can make the best decisions", he said.
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Insisting he did not mean to criticize Trump's predecessors, Kelly added, "but there are an very bad lot of things that got kicked down the road that have come home to roost now and have to be dealt with".
He went on to take additional questions from reporters, avoiding those from wire services and major papers - intentionally or not - and addressing correspondents he didn't know as "you".
GENERAL KELLY: One of his frustrations is you. As I said when I first started talking - again, I'm a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning - I read the - well, I won't tell you what I read - but when I watch TV in the morning, it is astounding to me how much is misreported.
Kelly was pushed further by the press on the issue of him leaving, to which Kelly turned things back onto the media.
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