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Trump blasts retired Gen. John Kelly while denying disparaging remarks on military

FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, leans in to talk with President Donald Trump during Trump's meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  Kelly is defending former White House national security aide, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who raised concerns about President Donald Trumps phone call with Ukraines president that spurred his impeachment. Kelly made the comments at a public forum Wednesday evening in Morristown, New Jersey.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, leans in to talk with President Donald Trump during Trump's meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Kelly is defending former White House national security aide, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who raised concerns about President Donald Trumps phone call with Ukraines president that spurred his impeachment. Kelly made the comments at a public forum Wednesday evening in Morristown, New Jersey. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – During a news conference on Friday afternoon at the White House, President Donald Trump criticized retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff and former Secretary of Homeland Security.

Trump said Kelly was unable to handle the pressure of his job at the White House. He said Kelly “did not do a good job,” was “unable to function” and he was “exhausted” by the time he left the job in January 2019.

“I know John Kelly. He was with me. He had no temperament,” Trump said, adding Kelly “bad mouths” him.

Trump said the new reports by The Associated Press and Fox News confirming The Atlantic’s recent report is “a hoax” and a “continuation of the witch hunt.” Both reports allege sources heard Trump make disparaging remarks about members of the U.S. military who had been captured or killed.

Kelly’s son 1st Lt. Robert Kelly died in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. Trump also said he was not a fan of Republican Sen. John McCain, a U.S. Navy veteran who was a prisoner of war.

“I disagreed with John McCain on a lot of things,” Trump said.

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