John Kelly: Rex Tillerson Was on the Toilet When I Told Him He’d Be Getting Fired

Source: Daily Beast | March 16, 2018 | Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng

The White House chief of staff shared the story with a room of reporters and Trump administration officials Friday.

Reporters gathered at the White House on Friday were stunned when Chief of Staff John Kelly shared a very embarrassing story about outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The reporters were there with senior White House officials for an off-the-record meeting with Kelly, who was attempting to tamp down speculation about an impending administration staff purge. The Daily Beast was not invited, but was briefed on its contents by three sources with knowledge of the meeting.

According to those sources, Kelly recounted a very awkward conversation with Tillerson during which he informed the secretary that President Donald Trump would very likely soon fire him. The awkwardness was less a result of the contents of the conversation than its setting.

Tillerson, Kelly told the room, was suffering from a stomach bug during a diplomatic swing through Africa, and was using a toilet when Kelly broke the news to him.

Sources were stunned that, even in an off-record setting, Kelly would say this—to a room filled with White House officials and political reporters—about Tillerson, who does not officially leave the State Department until the end of the month.

Kelly is routinely touted as one of the more mature members of Trump’s top brass and has often been branded as one of the “adults” in charge.

The comment was especially bizarre given Kelly’s reported past cover for Tillerson. The chief of staff tried for months to keep the secretary of state in his post, The New York Times reported, and fumed at his dismissal.


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  • Consistent #22351

    Consistent #22352

    ConservativeGranny #22366

    My first thought was “how humiliating” and that this was ordered to be said by Trump. He likes to just not fire someone but grind them under his shoe. What I was shocked to read is that this came from Kelly. He is usually pretty well disciplined and stoic. Totally out of character for him. It sounds to me like he was directed by Trump to do this. My only question now is why would Kelly do it? The phone call to Tillerson by Kelly telling him to expect some statement or news relating to him also sounds very unlike Kelly.

    This is most assuredly at Trump’s direction and I wonder if Kelly’s job was in jeopardy as well? Trump obviously has some control over Kelly now. Look for him to no longer be containing Trump but enabling him. The stories just keep getting weirder and weirder.

    EVERYDAY #22373

    I do believe Kelly has tried to do a good job, to instill discipline in the White House and to keep things running smoothly. But Trump doesn’t want things to run smoothly. He doesn’t want discipline. He wants to always be in charge. He wants constant chaos and controversy. The constant upheaval keeps Trump’s name in the paper and his image on tv. It strokes his massive ego and keeps his fans entertained.

    Then there are the children who don’t belong in the White House anyway. I’m sure Kelly isn’t happy having them around, probably trying to undermine everything he does. I suspect Ivanka has gone to Daddy, batted her eyes , maybe cried some crocodile tears, told her paranoid father that Kelly is the enemy and is inducing him to get rid of Kelly.

    Kelly really should just throw in the towel and leave that insane asylum while his reputation and sanity are still intact. The next person offered the job should run away as far and as fast as he can.

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