Despite being lauded by critics as a "sobering" force in Donald Trump's White House when he was first hired, an MSNBC panel Monday agreed that chief of staff John Kelly's past controversies suggest he was never who media expected him to be.
Responding to a report, as described to NBC by eight former and current White House officials, that claimed Kelly has called the president "an idiot" on multiple occasions, MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin, in for regular host Ari Melber, rolled footage of the chief of staff's more unsavory comments during his nine-month tenure in the West Wing.
"Remember, Kelly was brought on as chief of staff nine months ago, hailed as a beacon of discipline and the adult in the room, believe it or not, and someone who would put an end to the chaos in the West Wing," Mohyeldin said. "Instead, Kelly has found himself at the center of several controversies, many of them spilling out into the public."
The anchor then played a clip from Kelly's October speech at the White House press podium in which he leveled unsubstantiated attacks at Rep. Fredericka Wilson (D-FL) that he never apologized for, followed by an audio clip of the chief of staff calling immigrants lazy and repeatedly defending former White House staffer Rob Porter after he was accused of spousal abuse. The latter, Mohyeldin said, echoes NBC's reporting today that charges Kelly with claiming women are "more emotional" than men. Kelly denied the comments were ever uttered and called them "BS."
"Anyone who's involved with this Titanic has to be aligned with Trump," Christina Greer, a fellow at New York University's McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, told the host. "So there is no adult in the room. If we're looking for someone who has deep morals or a conscience or some sort of upper level have intellect, if they are still with this administration, that is cause for serious question."
Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) agreed with Greer's assertion, saying that especially given Kelly's comments about women, "he's a mirror image in this respect of the president that he serves."
"What disturbs me more about John Kelly is that he hasn't been able to put a clamp on the president's sort of most ridiculous instincts," the Maryland Democrat said.
Watch below, via MSNBC: