John Kelly rips media a new one in surprise press briefing; denies rumors he’s on the outs

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a room full of reporters that they were one of President Trump’s biggest frustrations.

Making his debut public appearance before journalists Thursday, the four-star Marine Corps General dismissed reports that he was frustrated working with Trump and blasted the media for its coverage of the administration.

“One of his frustrations is you. All of you. Not all of you, but many of you,” Kelly replied to one journalist during the surprise appearance.

“It is astounding to me how much is misreported,” he told White House reporters during a surprise briefing appearance.

“I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. But I would just offer to you the advice,” he added. “Maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office — or well, just develop some better sources.”

Trump’s opinion of the media has been no secret and, in tweets on Wednesday, he even questioned if their broadcast television licenses should be suspended in light of biased and “fake news.”

Kelly, who stepped in as Trump’s second chief of staff on July 28, replaced former Republican National Committee chair, Reince Priebus. And while the president has not said anything critical of Kelly, and in fact, has had nothing but praise for the retired Marine Corps general, reports have circulated that tensions between the two have been brewing.

Kelly laid the rumors to rest in his remarks.

“Unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow,” the former secretary of homeland security told reporters, drawing some laughter. “I don’t think I’m being fired today, and I’m not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving.”

Kelly noted that his current position is “the hardest job I’ve ever had.”

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Frieda Powers

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