Feb 11, 2018, 12:06 PM ET

Trump still has 'full confidence' in chief of staff John Kelly, says Kellyanne Conway

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Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said President Donald Trump still has “full confidence” in his chief of staff and his communications director.

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Conway told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that Trump continues to have confidence in Chief of Staff John Kelly and Communications Director Hope Hicks, despite reports that Kelly expressed a willingness to resign over his handling of allegations of domestic abuse against Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary. Porter has since resigned.

“I spoke with the president last night about this very issue and he wanted me to reemphasize to everyone, including this morning, that he has full confidence in his current chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, and that he is not actively searching for replacements,” Conway said.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump gestures next to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly during a briefing with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2017.Yuri Gripas/Reuters, FILE
President Donald Trump gestures next to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly during a briefing with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2017.

“He also has full confidence in Hope Hicks, his communications director and long-serving aide," Conway said. "There are a lot of, I think, unsourced and thinly-sourced stories out there, but when it comes to those two individuals, the president ... has full confidence in their performance.”

Porter resigned last week amid multiple allegations of domestic abuse by two ex-wives, although he refuted what he called the "outrageous allegations" that are "simply false."

An initial statement by Kelly responding to news of the abuse claims called Porter “a man of true integrity and honor,” according to the Daily Mail which broke the story Tuesday night.

On Wednesday evening, Kelly issued a new statement saying he was “shocked by the new allegations," adding “there is no place for domestic violence in our society.”

Multiple sources tell ABC News that senior members of Trump's administration knew for months that there was a personal issue hanging over Porter delaying his White House security clearance. However, although senior White House staff were aware of the domestic abuse allegations by Porter’s ex-wives, they did not know the full extent of the claims, senior administration officials said.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump talks with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after he was privately sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, July 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C.Evan Vucci/AP, FILE
President Donald Trump talks with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after he was privately sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, July 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Thursday that Kelly did not have “detailed updates about what may or may not have been alleged.”

On Sunday on “This Week,” Conway raised doubts about how long Kelly may have known about the claims.

Stephanopoulos said, “There’s credible reporting that… both chief of staff John Kelly and the White House counsel had known about these allegations for – for several months.”

Conway responded, “Well, General Kelly has said otherwise, and you would have to ask him the questions.”

Stephanopoulos pressed, “So he’s now, he’s now denying that he knew about these allegations for months?"

“You would have to talk to General Kelly about that,” she said.

In a separate interview on "This Week," Stephanopoulos asked former New Jersey Governor and ABC News contributor Chris Christie if Trump needs a new chief of staff.

"Does John Kelly have to go?" Stephanopoulos asked.

Christie responded that “the president has got to make that call."

"I think in the end, we've got to hear from John Kelly as to what he knew, and we haven't heard that directly from him yet," Christie said. " And I think the president needs to hear that before he can make an evaluation of competence. In the end, George, this is about competence, and you have to, as the chief of staff, be able to competently run the place."

News - Trump still has 'full confidence' in chief of staff John Kelly, says Kellyanne Conway

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  • will Russell

    Kelly made a serious mistake; many including myself may not like his politics, but he is the only adult at the White House. Anyone looking for perfection isn't going to find it in anything man made.

  • Educated

    ....And Putin has confidence in Trump.

  • mollydtt

    Trump HAS to have full confidence in Kelly. Who else is he going to get to fill and/or be able to get security clearance?

    Trump can't hire most of the honorable and trustworthy republicans, because either they refuse to have anything to do with the White House (smart), or Trump won't hire anyone that has ever said anything truthfully negative describing Trump's weaknesses. (and it is hard to find anyone that hasn't at least once in the past 10 years commented on Trump's insanity, vulgarity, and egocentricity).
    The DOJ will flee in horror as they try to escape the Trump assault on justice.

  • FlaGirl

    MAGA = Mueller Ain't Going Away

  • bibleexpert

    Trump has full confidence in anyone who knows how to read.

  • Cathy

    "Full confidence" Isn't that the phrase they use right before the person "resigns"?

  • Nick

    Yup, he's quitting (or being fired) in 3...2...1...

  • Top shelf

    "Full confidence ..."? We've heard that before. Kelly will be gone by the end of February.

  • GayEGO

    Well, didn't Kellyanne say that about Flynn, and then Flynn was gone? Bye bye Kelly, Donnie does not like losers.

  • Lee Thompson

    That's what we heard about Flynn, also. "Full confidence" means nothing.

  • mollydtt

    "Full confidence"--why? Kelly is a disaster, and Trump hates disasters.

    I guess, like others have already pointed out, that Kelly will be the next contributor to Fox "news". Like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin, and ......

  • Blue Wave

    Well, I guess the next job for John Kelly will be an analyst on Fox News.

  • FlaGirl

    Kellyanne Conway, the Liar in Chief's enabler saying tRump has compassion for women???? Kellyanne, we can see you throwing up in your mouth and swallowing it back down with a smile!

  • j penske

    There's that phrase, "full confidence"... we all know what that usually means.

  • THEFred

    When Trump says he has "full confidence" in somebody, it usually means they're about to be given the boot.

  • TexasVulcan

    Uh oh. Once you have the "full confidence" of the President, you are most likely toast.

  • Dan Farrar

    I think the President made a mistake accepting Porter's resignation. After all, once the allegations were made public, any blackmail threat ceased.

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    Definition of 'credibility' = he quality of being trusted and believed in.

    This administration, Conway in particular does not possess this quality. It is believable that the president wants to replace Gen. Kelly based upon his last actions. His history and even his TV show (blech) demonstrate his lifelong penchant for firing people.

    Often he starts the 'fires' and terminates people for not throwing enough water on them. And interestingly enough, he's come out on the side of the accused wife beaters. Well done, America.

  • jake

    This year Christmas comes in November - it's when we get to elect a new congress! The Donald may not be happy this Christmas. He can fire his staff but he can't fire congress!

  • bil

    Flynn and Spicer also had the 'full confidence' endorsement before they were shown the door. That means Kelly should start cleaning out his desk..enter Mulvaney or Barrack. (Barrack has ties to Manafort) Anyone with a brain would consider any post in this WH as toxic. Look at all those trump has turned to dust. Too long to list here.

  • Truthfully

    Kellyanne Conway the Original Spinner of FACTS.....
    Or is that Alternative Facts??

  • PeterFromDuluth

    Trump's full confidence for now seems to be a bullet-proof guarantee to some. Mucci has that until moments before being fired.

  • jims444

    Did anyone seriously think that Trump wouldn't have "full confidence" in Kelly? But if Kelly became a threat to Trump, he would be out faster than you could blink an eye. As for Kellyanne Conway, she's nothing but a paid liar so she has absolutely no credibility. Why anyone would take the time to interview her is beyond me. She's a total joke.

  • Bob Jarvis

    Kellyanne Conway is defending John Kelly.

    Well.

    If that's not the Kiss of Death, I don't know what is.

  • Expert

    Kelly's women demeaning & harassing skill set is publicly on display. I feel so good knowing I will never vote republican again

  • Red Hawk

    that he has full confidence in his current chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly,== Oh Oh , Kelly is out

  • SeekTruth

    Kelly Anne Conway’s behaviour is mostly bizarre.
    If for no others reasons than blatant dishonesty, bias, and racist tendencies: The “swamp” still needs draining: Trump; Gen Kelly; Kelly Anne Conway; Pence; Stephen Miller; Sarah Huckleberry Sanders and Ryan.

  • Juvenal451

    'Full confidence" will be what Trump has until Kelly suddenly "resigns" to do more fly fishing.

  • Jake the real Jake

    Trump having confidence in Kelly the lap dog, Is like me having confidence of my neighbors 5 cats being corralled!

  • mollydtt

    “Mere allegations” must be Trump’s idea of the Russia investigation.

  • mik8888

    Brad's here, now ya happy...???

  • Phantasia

    Bye felicia.

  • albobcat

    "Full confidence" equates to "about to be fired."

  • Clarence Dean

    Please welcome to the show folks, the bestest, bigliest, most brazen whirling dervish in the nation. She has proven again and again to be one of the best spin meisters in history and master of the alternative facts era, folks. If we're lucky folks maybe she brought along her dervish in training, Sarah hucklebeast sandflea, but please welcome to the show folks, the KA conjob.

  • mrphilbert

    I can just see the skit on next weeks snl showing a forlorn kelly flipping burgers at the local trough and brew.

  • Just_Me _Too

    too bad joe biden didn't run, he would have mopped the floor with tRUMP. his presidency probably would have been a bit boring but considering what we have no that does n't seem such a bad thing

  • empty

    Didn't she proclaim that about Flynn hours before ........?

  • Just_Me _Too

    first that i have heard that rape assault, and crotch grabbing were considered demonstrations of compassion