President Trump’s former White House chief of staff, General John Kelly, announced this week he would have served under Hillary Clinton if she had won the 2016 election.
“If Hillary Clinton had called me, I would have done it,” Kelly said during an appearance at Duke University this week, according to NBC News.
While John Kelly did not divulge much about his time in the Trump administration, the general did seem to confirm reports about his being unhappy during his tenure in the White House to the point of admitting he disagreed with some of the administration’s policies, especially on immigration.
“It was a notable contrast to Kelly’s aggressive pushback on news reports while in the White House about his actions and relationship with Trump,” reports NBC News. “On Wednesday he even stressed several times the importance of a free press.”
Kelly, however, avoided answering questions pertaining to President Trump allegedly “intervening to secure top-secret security clearances for his daughter Ivanka Trump and son–in–law.”
“Kelly did not deny reports that President Donald Trump circumvented the usual process to grant the security clearances or that he later wrote a memo outlining his concerns about it,” says NBC. “He simply said he believes any such conversations with the president would be privileged and that he’s not at liberty to discuss security clearances.”
The four-star general, who first served as Trump’s Homeland Security secretary before being plunged into the White House chief of staff, admitted that his time in the White House was “the least enjoyable job I’ve ever had.”
“But it was the most important job I’ve ever had,” he added.
Kelly minced few words on how the Trump administration has handled the Southern border crisis, going so far as to say that the U.S. does not “need a wall from sea to shining sea.” He also laid some of the blame on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing the White House to be caught off guard by the “zero tolerance policy.”
“And by the way, they’re overwhelmingly not criminals,” Kelly said of those illegally crossing the Southern border. “They’re people coming up here for economic purposes. I don’t blame them for that.”
Kelly’s comments echoed statements he made in a previous interview with the Los Angeles Times upon his resignation from the Trump administration.
“To be honest, it’s not a wall,” Kelly told the LA Times. “The president still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it.”
In the same interview, Kelly also denied reports that President Trump simply makes gut decisions without being informed.
“It’s never been: The president just wants to make a decision based on no knowledge and ignorance,” Kelly said. “You may not like his decision, but at least he was fully informed on the impact.”