White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham hit back at former White House chief of staff John Kelly’s criticism of President Donald Trump on Saturday, stating the retired Marine Corps general was “totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.”
Appearing at a conference organized by the Washington Examiner, Kelly called President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria a “catastrophically bad idea.”
“It was, on a number of levels, the wrong thing to do and it has opened the way for the Russians to be very, very influential in the Middle East,” he said.
Kelly also stated that he warned the president that replacing him with a “yes man” who wouldn’t challenge his political instincts could lead to his impeachment.
the former White House chief of staff recalled:
I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth — don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached.
That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving. It pains me to see what’s going on because I beli
Kelly resigned as chief of staff in December 2018 and was replaced by Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Shortly after Kelly’s remarks, President Trump denied his former chief of staff had made the remarks to him, CNN reported.
“He never said anything like that. If he would have said that, I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does,” the president said.
Grisham also took aim at Kelly, telling CNN in a statement: “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President.”