John Kelly: Trump is "Super Smart"

05_11_John Kelly

White House chief of staff John Kelly, made a highly offensive comments about immigrants during an interview with National Public Radio on Friday. But he later clarified that the president is "distracted".

Kelly told NPR that the subject tends to come up in Trump's conversations with foreign leaders, saying while the long-running investigation "may not be a cloud" hanging over the presidency, "the president is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly".

The news outlet also spoke with the chief of staff about the administration's stance on immigration.

During an interview NPR published Thursday evening, Kelly said that the "vast majority" of undocumented immigrants are not "bad people" or "criminals", they're just "rural people" who lack skills and education and don't assimilate well. "They're overwhelmingly rural people", Kelly added.

"It's not that things were a disaster that first six months, but I believe they could have been better", he explained.


A retired four-star Marine general, Kelly took over as Trump's chief of staff for Reince Priebus last July, hoping to bring order to a chaotic White House.

According to Kelly, the topic of the ongoing probe is one that world leaders are keen to discuss when they visit the president, citing the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing corruption charges at home, as an example. 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. The Department of Homeland Security has also ended TPS for almost 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians, and 9,000 Nepalis, according to the Washington Post.

The comments come as The New York Times reports Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen considered resigning this week.

Trump has pursued his crackdown on legal and illegal immigration since becoming president, promising to strengthen the nation's borders and to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

A DHS spokesman denied the story.

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