White House chief of staff: 'I'm not quitting today'

Friday, 13 Oct, 2017

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Thursday the Trump administration thinks the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons capability is now manageable but Pyongyang can not be allowed to develop the ability to strike the United States homeland.

Nielsen told the president she was "humbled by the trust you are placing in me".

"I think perhaps I feel stronger and tougher on that subject than other people", Trump said in the Oval Office.

The extraordinary statement drew a bit of laughter, but it reflected serious turmoil in the top ranks of the White House that has persisted since the Donald Trump was inaugurated as the nation's 45th president. And at Trump's speech last month before the U.N., Kelly had his head in his hands.

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"One of his frustrations is you, all of you, not all of you, but many of you", Kelly said in response to a question about Trump's frustrations. It is astounding to me how much is misreported. "I look forward to working closely with the Administration and Ranking Member McCaskill to expedite the consideration of Ms. Nielsen's nomination and help make America safer and more secure".

When asked what frustrates the president, Kelly laughed and said he thought that it was the media. "I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them, but I will just offer to you the advice, I'd say maybe develop some better sources". Kelly said Americans should be "concerned" about North Korea since it has developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capability and is developing a vehicle that would allow a missile to survive re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Kelly was elevated to the post from homeland security secretary in July.

Kelly also addressed Trump's tweet Thursday morning that FEMA and other rescue workers couldn't be kept in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico "forever", and reiterated that the president believes the USA citizens there deserve the same support as those who were hit by hurricanes earlier this year in Texas and Florida.