Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on October 12, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Kelly was seen as bringing discipline to Trump’s White House when he took the post this summer, after a stint as Homeland Security secretary. He cracked down on the types of information that Trump read. He more carefully controlled how the president meets people in the West Wing.
Still, he has not completely contained Trump’s freewheeling and chaotic style.
Kelly appeared visibly uncomfortable during two of Trump’s public appearances. He stood with arms crossed, staring at the floor, in August while the president said “very fine people” marched at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The chief of staff also hid his face behind a hand as Trump made defiant threats toward North Korea and “rocket man” Kim Jong Un at the United Nations last month.
Kelly said he is “not frustrated” in the job. But he called it “really, really hard work.”
Asked if the president’s often inflammatory tweets make his job more difficult, Kelly flatly responded, “No.” He added that he is not tasked with controlling the president’s social media feed.
“I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president,” he said.