WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Kushner couple is a ‘force to reckon with’ says former chief of staff John Kelly when asked how it was to work at the White House alongside Trump’s family.
- According to a book by Vicky Ward on the Kushners, Trump once directed Kelly to fire Jared and Ivanka and return them to New York where they will be safer and away from media attention.
- However, the White House denied all of these saying Ward’s version is false and baseless.
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has disclosed what it was like to work with the president’s current advisers who also happened to be family members during his tenure at the White House.
While he did not mention Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner by name, Kelly revealed that the Kushners were “an influence that has to be dealt with,” in answer to a question that asked how complicated it was to work with the president’s family during his time with the Trump administration.
Immediately clarifying his statement, Kelly, 48, said he was not referring to the First Lady.
“By no means do I mean Mrs. Trump. The first lady’s a wonderful person,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s ‘The David Rubenstein Show’.
At one point though during Kelly’s term, Trump reportedly ordered him to fire the married couple.
“Get rid of my kids, get them back to New York,” Trump supposedly said to his chief of staff, according to Vicky Ward’s book entitled “Kushner Inc.” which was written based on 220 interviews. Trump’s order allegedly concurs with a March 2018 Washington Post report.
The Washington Post‘s Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker wrote: “[The president] has mused to Kelly that he thinks Ivanka and her husband should perhaps return to New York, where they would be protected from the blood sport of Washington and less of a target for negative media attention, White House officials said.”
In response to Ward’s book, the White House denied her written version of Trump’s rumored conversation with Kelly.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that it’s sad that media would rather focus their time promoting a book based on “shady anonymous sources and false information”, instead of on the accomplishments of Jared and Ivanka.
Speaking on behalf of Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell in a statement to the New York Times, Peter Mirijanian also criticized Ward’s account saying every point that Ms. Ward mentioned was false. He added that it would be pointless and a waste of time to correct everything wrong in the book that she has written which seems to be more of fiction rather than an attempt to get the facts.