Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says John Kelly should remain White House chief of staff after a scandal forced one of his top aides to resign for allegedly abusing two ex-wives.
“I think as long as Donald Trump is president, our government is best served if John Kelly is in the job of chief of staff,” Johnson said during a CNN appearance Sunday. “It may be a minority view among my Democratic friends, but that is my view.”
Johnson, a friend of Kelly’s, appeared to express sympathy for Kelly, who is facing questions about why he didn’t fire former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter long ago. Some reports say Kelly knew for months about the allegations against Porter.
Johnson said he didn’t know what he would do if he was presented with the allegations, as Kelly reportedly was in the fall following initial steps in the FBI’s background check process.
“I don’t know Mr. Porter so it’s hard to say, I don’t know his strengths,” Johnson said.
“When you are in public office, you have to assume that sooner or later everything is going to get out. Whether it’s tomorrow or it’s next year. And you have to balance the blowback from something like this that has not come out, that should have come out much earlier, against the strengths of the person who is in the job,” Johnson continued.
“Some sort of calculation was made there and we’re seeing the effects of that now.”