President Trump defended White House chief of staff John Kelly amid the ongoing controversy with Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., calling her assertion that Kelly will say what ever it takes to keep his job "sickening."
"He's a very unusual man," Trump said of Kelly to Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo in an interview that will air Sunday. "So, when she made that statement, I thought it was sickening, actually."
The White House has sparred with Wilson throughout the week regarding Trump's condolence phone call with a Gold Star widow. Wilson accused Trump of being insensitive when he allegedly told the widow of one of the four soldiers killed in Niger this month that her husband "knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens, it hurts anyway."
Prior to saying she would not comment on the issue further, Wilson had said Thursday Kelly's statements were motivated by his desire to keep his position in the White House."John Kelly's trying to keep his job," Wilson told Politico. "He will say anything. There were other people who heard what I heard."
Trump maintained that Kelly did not need the job.
"He doesn't need this job," Trump told Bartiromo. "In fact, he didn't really want this job. He was so happy, you know, he's a military guy. He was doing this incredible job on the border and elsewhere, you know, he ran Homeland like nobody has ever run it, down 78 percent of the border crossings."
Trump previously said Wilson's story was "fabricated," and Kelly defended Trump on Thursday in response to Wilson's accusation.
"There's no perfect way to make that phone call. When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was to not do it, because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to," Kelly told reporters at the White House."It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation," he added. "I thought at least that was sacred."