White House: Trump has ‘absolute confidence’ in John Kelly

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump still stands by Chief of Staff John Kelly after his handling of abuse allegations against a former aide, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Sunday.

“He has absolute confidence in Gen. Kelly” Short said on “Meet The Press.”

“Gen. Kelly, in my mind, is an American hero,” Short said, adding that Kelly also did not offer his resignation following criticism of his handling over the departure of White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

Porter left the White House last week after news reports that two of his ex-wives accused him of being physically abusive. He has denied the allegations, calling them “simply false” and part of a “coordinated smear campaign.”

Kelly reportedly indicated he was willing to step down over his handling of the Porter accusations, but he denied to NBC News on Friday that he ever offered that resignation.

“John Kelly knows that he serves at the pleasure of the president,” Short said. “And he will step aside anytime the president doesn’t want him to be there. But John Kelly has not offered his resignation. John Kelly is doing an outstanding job.”

Short also claimed on Sunday that Trump himself has been “shaped” by accusations of misconduct against him when he reacts to news of misconduct by other men.

“I think the president is shaped by a lot of false accusations against him in the past,” Short said after watching a video montage of Trump questioning news reports of other accusations against different prominent men in news and politics.

“But in talking with President, I think he’s sad about what happened with Rob. I think he’s very disturbed by it and he’s um very disappointed in it. I think he thinks the resignation was appropriate.”