White House chief Kelly: 'Not quitting' - or trying to control Trump

Jennifer Rubin: Chief of Staff Kelly hasn't tamed him — Trump hasn't changed a bit

President Trump's chief of staff said Thursday that he had no intention of quitting and did not believe he was going to be fired - even while joking that, "It's not the best job I've ever had".

"I would believe, I think I speak for the administration, that that state simply can not have the ability to reach the homeland".

There have been reports that Kelly is unhappy in the job as Trump's legislative agenda stalls and the president continues to picks fights with everyone from senators to National Football League players to a mayor in hurricate-hit Puerto Rico.

President Donald Trump is planning to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to succeed John Kelly as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Politico, Reuters and other outlets reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

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"Right now we think the threat is manageable but over time if it grows beyond where it is today, well, let's hope that diplomacy works", said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.

The extraordinary statement drew a bit of laughter, but it reflected serious turmoil in the top ranks of the White House that has persisted since the Donald Trump was inaugurated as the nation's 45th president.

"There are incredible challenges, economic challenges, health care challenges", he said, telling reporters that one of his biggest frustrations was "you, all of you". That was the best job I ever had.

He also brushed aside reports suggesting he's taken firmer control of the White House staff than his predecessor, Reince Priebus, and cut off freewheeling access to Trump and the Oval Office.

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But Kelly delivered a relaxed and upbeat performance that helped tamp down reports of tension between the president and the four-star general, described by colleagues as someone serving the president out of a steely sense of patriotic duty. But he called it "really, really hard work".

"I'm a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning, and watch TV in the morning, it is astounding to me how much is misreported", said the chief of staff. All of you. Not all of you, but many of you.

I don't mean any criticism to Mr. Trump's predecessors, but there's an very bad lot of things that were, in my view, kicked down the road, that have come home to roost, pretty much right now that have to be dealt with.

Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush, said he couldn't remember an example of a Bush-era chief of staff conducting the daily briefing. "I was not brought to this job to control anything except teh flow of information to our president, so he can make the best decisions".

Huge demonstrations in Barcelona for Spanish unity
The last regional election and polls show that the 7.5 million residents of Catalonia are nearly evenly divided on the issue. The gathering around Madrid's Cibeles fountain boasted a huge banner demanding that the leaders start talking.

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