General John Kelly has said he wasn’t selected to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff to control the President’s use of Twitter.
During a White House briefing, Mr Kelly told reporters that he reads press reports saying “I’ve been a failure at controlling the President, or a failure at controlling his tweeting, and all that.”
“I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our President so that he can make the best decisions,” he said.
After less than a month on the job, it was reported that Mr Kelly was making sure he had the last word on what materials landed on the President’s desk – an apparent effort to slow down the policymaking process and bring more discipline to the chaotic White House.
Mr Kelly started as chief of staff at the end of July, after having served as Mr Trump’s secretary of homeland security. In August, the retired Marine Corps general initiated a new process in which he and just one other aide would review all documents before Mr Trump would be allowed to see them, according to Politico.
“I was not sent in to – or brought in to control him, and you should not measure my effectiveness as a Chief of Staff by what you think I should be doing,” Mr Kelly told reporters on Thursday.
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He continued: “But simply, the fact is, I can guarantee to you that he is now presented with options, well thought-out options. Those options are discussed in detail with his team, and then he comes up with the right decision.”
Mr Kelly also told reporters he was “not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving.”
“I will tell you, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” he said. “This is, in my view, the most important job I ever had.”