Tuesday , October 27 2020

John Kelly says he told Trump a 'yes man' would get him impeached – NBC News, NBC News


President Donald Trump is denying that former Chief of Staff John Kelly ever warned him that he would be impeached if he hired a lackey to replace the former four-star general.

“John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that,” Trump said in a statement Saturday after Kelly discussed his warning. “If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does.”

Kelly resigned Jan. 2 and was replaced by Mick Mulvaney, an acting chief of staff whose tenure is clouded by an Oct. 17 news conference in which his main talking points – that next year Group of Seven summit would behosted at Trump’s Miami resortand thatthe president held up aidto Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate a political rival – were essentially walked back.

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends a meeting in Washington, DC , on Oct. 11, 2018.Mark Wilson / Getty Images file

Before departing the White House, Kelly said he privately told Trump not to hire a “yes man.”

“I said, whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth. Don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached, “Kelly said Saturday at the conservativeWashington Examiner Political Summit.

Kelly said he warned the president not to hire a lackey to run his staff.

“Don’t hire someone that will just , you know, nod and say, ‘You know, that’s a great idea Mr. President,’ “he told the partisan crowd. “‘Because you will be impeached.'”

24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry , saying that the president’s growing Ukraine scandal marked a “breach of his Constitutional responsibilities.”

The Houseimpeachment inquiryis focused on accusations that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine to pressure officials there to investigate the son of political rival Joe Biden.

The president’s press secreatary also fired back at Kelly.

“I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President,” Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Saturday.

Dennis Romero

Dennis Romero writes for NBC News and is based in Los Angeles.

Kelly O’Donnell

contributed.

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