John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has said Donald Trump is “somewhat embarrassed” by the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Kelly told National Public Radio (NPR) in a rare interview broadcast on Friday that Robert Mueller’s investigation inevitably crops up when the US president hosts his foreign counterparts.
“There may not be a cloud, but certainly the president is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly,” Kelly, a retired four-star marine corps general, said. “When world leaders come in, it’s kind of like you know Bibi Netanyahu [of Israel] is here and he – who’s under investigation himself – and it’s like, you know, you walk in and you know the first couple of minutes of every conversation might revolve around that kind of thing.”
Kelly, who is Trump’s second chief of staff, said he spends five to eight hours a day with the president. His tenure has been the subject of recent speculation after reports that his influence is waning and that he branded the president an “idiot”. But he told NPR he thinks Trump is “a super-smart guy”.
He added: “My view is to speak…