White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly called President Trump “an idiot” and “unhinged” in conversations with White House aides recounted in legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s new book, which was obtained by The Washington Post on Tuesday.
“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here,” Kelly reportedly vented during a small group meeting, Woodward writes.
“This is the worst job I’ve ever had,” he continued.
According to Woodward’s book, Kelly threatened to quit several times and recounts a conversation he had with then-National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn after he attempted to deliver a resignation letter to Trump in August 2017 over Trump’s handling of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Cohn, who is Jewish, was especially shaken when one of his daughters found a swastika on her college dorm room.
According to the Post:
Trump was sharply criticized for initially saying that “both sides” were to blame. At the urging of advisers, he then condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but almost immediately told aides, “That was the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given,” according to Woodward’s account.
When Cohn met with Trump to deliver his resignation letter after Charlottesville, the president told him, “This is treason,” and persuaded his economic adviser to stay on. Kelly then confided to Cohn that he shared Cohn’s horror at Trump’s handling of the tragedy — and shared Cohn’s fury with Trump.
“I would have taken that resignation letter and shoved it up his ass six different times,” Kelly told Cohn, according to Woodward.
Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House”, is set for release on Sept. 11.
The book will reportedly offer a detailed account of the inner workings of the Trump administration and is based on “hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents.”