WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - White House chief of staff John Kelly made a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room Thursday and announced that he is neither resigning, nor being fired.
The former four-star general's clarification comes amid reports that his relationship with President Donald Trump is running to a breaking point.
Trump had appointed Kelly to the post of White House Chief of Staff on July 28, replacing Reince Priebus, following a chaotic internal power struggle within the White House.
Kelly made a previously unannounced appearance at the routine White House press briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Thursday.
'I would just offer to you that although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I'm not quitting today. I don't believe -- and I just talked to the President -- I don't think I'm being fired today. And I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving,' he told reporters, who received it with laughter.
The top White House staff admitted that this is the hardest and the most important job he ever had, though, not the best job. 'The best job I ever had, as I've said many times, is when I was an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman.'
'So unless things change, I'm not quitting, I'm not getting fired, and I don't think I'll fire anyone tomorrow,' the war veteran said in a light way.
To a question if he is really frustrated and thinking of leaving the job, Kelly replied that he is 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'.
Allaying doubts that he is at loggerheads with the President, General Kelly said his only frustration 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'.
This is the second time in as many weeks that a prominent member of the Trump administration is stepping in voluntarily in front of the media to clarify that he is not resigning over differences with the President.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last Wednesday tried to deny a report that he had called Trump a 'moron' and considered quitting over disagreements with him
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