President Trump offered John Kelly the job of the head of the FBI, the day after he fired James Comey, a new book claims.
“But the president added something else—if he became FBI director, Trump told him, Kelly needed to be loyal to him, and only him,” author and Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt writes in his new book, Donald Trump v. The United States.
Axios reports that Schmidt writes that Kelly, then secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, pushed back on the president’s demand. “Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump.”
“In addition to illustrating how Trump viewed the role and independence of senior officials who work for him, the president’s demand for loyalty tracked with Comey's experience with Trump,” Schmidt writes.
Kelly said that “Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do.” Having to say no to Trump, said Kelly, “was like ‘French kissing a chainsaw.’”