Kellyanne Conway: Trump Has ‘Full Faith’ in Chief of Staff John Kelly; Not Actively Searching for Replacements’

By Melanie Arter | February 12, 2018 | 1:51 PM EST

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway (Screenshot)

( - White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that President Donald Trump has “full faith” in White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and the president is “not actively searching for replacements.”

“I spoke to the president last night. I told him I would be with you today, and he said, ‘please tell Jake that I have full faith in Chief of Staff John Kelly and that I'm not actively searching for replacements.’ He said, ‘I saw that all over the news today. I have faith in him,’ and he does,” Conway said.

“You know we all serve at the pleasure of the president, and it is a privilege and a blessing, and nothing short of it, to be there every single day to serve the country that we all love,” she said.

Reports said Kelly was willing to resign after reports said Kelly knew about domestic abuse allegations lodged against White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter by his two ex-wives as recently as November, but he didn’t act on this information.

“In fact, Rob Porter, his star continued to rise,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said.

Conway said she was “horrified” and “very shocked” when she heard the allegations.

“Well, I was horrified and I was also very shocked. It's -- as many people have noted, Jake, this is not the Rob Porter we worked with in the White House, and -- but once you see the allegations as put forth, once you see the photographic evidence, the contemporaneous police reports, as you say, speaking to the FBI, it was very clear that Rob resigned very swiftly and was out the very next day, out of the White House the very next day,” she said.

“And I think people should look at the result as to how this is handled. What is the result here? The result is that, one week ago, Rob Porter was a top aide to President Trump, and, today, he is out of the White House,” Conway added.

When asked whether she was worried about White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who is dating Porter, Conway said, “Well, I'm very close to Hope Hicks, and I don't worry about her in that -- in that respect. I'm sorry for any suffering that this woman has endured, but in the case of Hope, I have rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent -- excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts.

“I didn't have the presence of mind and the professional capabilities at her age that I see in her every single day,” Conway added.

“She's definitely strong, but strong women get abused too. It's just not weak women,” Tapper said.

“Oh, many women get abused, no question, and let me agree with you on that. There's a stigma of silence surrounding all of these issues, again, whether it's drug abuse, child abuse, certainly intimate partner and spousal abuse. There's no question that it knows no demographic or geographic bounds,” Conway said.

She added that Hicks has “a great support system around her, and she's got a beautiful family, wonderful friends, colleagues, and a boss who respects and relies upon her tremendously.”


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