The Washington Post said on Thursday that President Donald Trump is furious with White House chief of staff John Kelly over comments that Kelly made to Hispanic lawmakers at an immigration policy meeting.
The former Marine general told the Hispanic Caucus of Democratic House members that Trump’s campaign promises about a border wall with Mexico were “uninformed” and took credit for his role urging the president’s “evolving” on immigration policy.
“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” said Trump on Twitter. “Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.”
The president was reportedly needled by the tone Kelly took during a Fox News interview when he was asked about the remarks.
“Trump associates said the president was furious with Kelly both for what he said and for the tone he used, which Trump thought made it appear he was a child who had to be managed,” wrote Post political reporters John Wagner, Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa.
The word “uninformed” particularly rankled the president who is commonly known to think of himself as a genius and doesn’t like the idea that there are things he doesn’t know.
Newsmax.com CEO and longtime Trump ally Christopher Ruddy told the Post that Trump’s rage toward Kelly was because he felt the retired general was speaking out of turn on an issue very dear to the president’s base, immigration.
Another Trump associate said the intensity of the president’s anger over the perceived betrayal is as fiery hot as the August, 2016 fury Trump felt when then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort told a group of Florida Republicans that Trump was only playing a part on the campaign trail and would soon pivot to become “more presidential.”
The aide told the Post that the chief of staff need to remember who the boss is, saying, “Kelly thinks he knows what policies are important and what aren’t, but Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”