Former Chief of Staff John Kelly said he regretted resigning from the Trump administration and that he warned Trump about impeachment, according to a Washington Examiner report published Saturday.
According to the report, Kelly said he warned Trump that hiring a "yes man" as his successor would only lead to impeachment proceedings, suggesting that current Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was partially to blame for the current impeachment proceedings because he is unable to keep Trump out of trouble.
"I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,' someone who won't tell you the truth — don't do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached," Kelly recalled, in an interview at the Washington Examiner's political conference Sea Island Summit.
The House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump less than a year after Kelly departed the administration after a whistleblower report surfaced detailing Trump's handling of a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump's behavior has only gotten more erratic since.
"That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving," Kelly said. "It pains me to see what's going on because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place."
According to the report, Kelly did not endorse the impeachment inquiry, which he called avoidable, but did indicate that Administration officials are partially responsible.
"Someone has got to be a guide that tells [the president] that you either have the authority or you don't, or Mr. President, don't do it," Kelly said. "Don't hire someone that will just nod and say, 'That's a great idea Mr. President.' Because you will be impeached."