The White House shot back on Saturday after former chief of staff John Kelly said he had warned President Trump that hiring a “yes man” to replace him would likely lead to impeachment. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham disputed Kelly’s claim. “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President,” Grisham told CNN. After news of Kelly's comments spread, Trump also responded in a statement to CNN: “John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that. If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does.”
During an appearance on Saturday at the Sea Island Summit, a political conference hosted by The Washington Examiner, Kelly recalled telling Trump: “Don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth... Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached.” Kelly also said that he regrets resigning, and could have prevented the impeachment inquiry had he remained in the administration.