Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly takes a veiled shot at Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in a new interview

  • Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner had “to be dealt with” while he served as Trump’s right-hand in the White House.
  • “They were an influence that has to be dealt with,” Kelly said of Trump’s family, without naming names, during a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg TV. “By no means do I mean Mrs. Trump – the first lady’s a wonderful person.”
  • There were numerous instances in which the couple reportedly butted heads with Kelly and other top staffers in their efforts to influence the president.

  • Kelly described being taken aback by the “intense personal ambition” of Trump White House staffers, and a culture of backstabbing and leaking to the press.
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Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said, without naming names, that President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner had “to be dealt with” while he served as Trump’s right-hand in the White House.

“They were an influence that has to be dealt with,” Kelly said during a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg TV. “By no means do I mean Mrs. Trump – the first lady’s a wonderful person.”

Ivanka and Jared, both official White House advisers, have long been targets of intense criticism from both within the administration and from political foes. And the media reported numerous instances in which they butted heads with Kelly and other top staffers in their efforts to influence the president.

Reports emerged recently that Trump pressured his staff to give Ivanka and Jared security clearances, despite objections from Kelly senior staffers. Trump ultimately reportedly granted the security clearances himself, but made public statements denying any involvement.


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Kelly said his nearly two-year stint in the White House was “the most important thing I ever did,” but also “amongst the hardest jobs I ever had in my life” and “not very enjoyable.”

He said the “intense personal ambition” of Trump White House staffers was “out of hand” both prior to and during his tenure.

“People start to do things like leak to the press things that are untrue or half-true, not just towards people at the top like me but toward their colleagues,” he told Bloomberg.


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Trump reportedly pressured his staff to grant Ivanka and Jared Kushner their security clearances

So Kelly said he gathered all of the White House staffers and told them that “nowhere in the oath of office” does it say that they should be “talking to the press” or “stabbing your colleagues in the back so that you’ll look better.”

Ivanka and Jared helped steer President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and have reportedly maintained central and far-reaching roles since joining the administration as unpaid White House advisers.

While Ivanka has focused her public-facing work on economic policy and issues affecting women and families, Kushner’s massive portfolio has included crafting a Middle East peace plan, pushing prison reform, and drafting immigration policy.

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