Kelly: ‘My Only Frustration’ Is the Media

By Melanie Arter | October 13, 2017 | 10:51 AM EDT

White House Chief of Staff Gen, John Kelly (Screenshot of White House video)

( - White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly said Thursday that his only frustration is media misreporting things about him or President Donald Trump.

“This is hard, hard work ... and my only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said, or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said, or people who are going to be fired, or whatever you all think, and it's just not true,” Kelly said.

During a White House press briefing, Kelly was asked whether he was frustrated.

“No, I'm not frustrated,” he said. This is really, really hard work running the United States of America. I don't run it, but I'm working for someone who is dedicated to serving the country in the way that he's talked about for a number of years. There are incredible challenges -- you know, economic challenges, healthcare challenges, all of that; obviously international challenges that have to be dealt with.

“I don't mean any criticism to Mr. Trump's predecessors, but there is an awful lot of things that were, in my view, kicked down the road that have come home to roost, pretty much right now, that have to be dealt with,” Kelly said.

Kelly said one of Trump’s frustrations is also the media, and he advised members of the press to develop better sources when reporting on what happens at the White House.

“Not all of you, but many of you. As I said when I first started talking -- again, I'm a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning -- I read the -- well, I won't tell you what I read -- but when I watch TV in the morning, it is astounding to me how much is misreported, Kelly said.

“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: I would say maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office, or -- well, just develop some better sources,” he said.

Kelly said Congress also frustrates the president.

“The Congress has been frustrating to him. Of course, our government is designed to be slow, and it is,” he said.

“His sense, I think, as a man who is outside the Washington arena, a businessman -- much more of a man of action -- I would say his great frustration is the process that he now finds himself, because, in his view, the solutions are obvious, whether it's tax cuts and tax reform, healthcare, infrastructure programs, strengthening our military,” Kelly said.

“To him, these all seem like obvious things that need to be done to protect the American people -- bring jobs back. These are all the things that he sees as vital to protect the American people, and ought to advance the American economy or whatnot, and the process is so slow and so hard sometimes to deal with, so I think those two things,” he said.

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