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John Kelly, facing heat for backing alleged abuser, has shed image as calming force

Noah Bierman and Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

"The tweets don't run my life -- good staff work runs it," he said, adding that he does not even follow Trump's Twitter account.

Kelly has said this is the hardest job he has ever had, and also the most important.

Last month, Kelly brought a group of reporters into his office to brief them about Trump's plans to address Dreamers as part of a broader immigration proposal. Trump burst in and unexpectedly told reporters he would support a path to citizenship.

Kelly folded his hands and leaned up against a window sill, appearing to be seeking to avoid revealing any emotion with his facial expression.

As the encounter wore on, Trump began veering into other topics, eventually offering that he would "love" to speak with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Kelly audibly sighed.


(Staff writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.)

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