White House chief of staff John Kelly sought to dispel rumors about his future at the White House, and said he has no intention of quitting.
"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 am being fired today. I am not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving," Kelly told reporters at Thursday's White House press briefing.
"I would tell you, this is the hardest job I've ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I've ever had. I would offer, though, it is not the best job I've ever had. The best job I've ever had is when I was an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman. That was the best job I ever had had. Unless things change, I'm not quitting, I'm not getting fired, and I don't think I will fire anyone tomorrow."
Since Kelly joined the White House in July from the Department of Homeland Security, taking over for former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, his future at the White House has been the subject of palace intrigue. Reports have suggested Kelly has been frustrated with Trump, and the president had a difficult time adapting to the strict order Kelly put in place when he became the new chief of staff.
The former Marine Corps general acknowledged it's "really, really hard work running the United States of America," and said there have been numerous challenges, some of which were "kicked down the road" by Trump's predecessors, that "have come home to roost."
But the former Homeland Security secretary said his major frustration stems from the press and leaks from within the Trump administration, and said much of what is being shared with the media from anonymous sources is untrue.
"My only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said or things Mr. Trump allegedly said or people who are going to be fired. It is just not true," he said. "That's my frustration. I mean no disrespect to you all."
When Kelly took over as chief of staff, it was widely reported he brought order to what was considered a chaotic West Wing.
Kelly, though, said he didn't necessarily bring an "iron hand" to the White House staff, but rather instilled organization.
"[I] just put some organization to it. I put a smile on my face, although you guys with the cameras always catch me when I'm thinking hard, and it looks like I'm frustrated and mad," Kelly said, referencing numerous photos taken during Trump speeches that show him looking dismayed.