Kelly threatened to quit chief of staff post last month: report

Chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE reportedly “blew up” at President TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit MORE and threatened to quit his position late last month.

Sources familiar with the situation told Axios that Kelly exploded at Trump during an Oval Office meeting on March 28, and muttered threats to quit while walking back to his office. 

One senior White House official told Axios that Kelly was “venting frustration,” and referring to his comments as a threat was “probably too strong.”

Sources told Axios that the comments were not related to the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinNew allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports Press: Why does Scott Pruitt still have a job? Trump VA pick faces challenge to convince senators he’s ready for job MORE, which occurred the same day. Sources also said that other officials, including Homeland Security chief Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Homeland Security chief issues warning to ‘caravan’ Senators chart path forward on election security bill MORE, came to calm Kelly down.

Kelly also reportedly began packing up personal belongings, according to Axios.

The report comes just days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump ignored Kelly’s recommendation to fire Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPress: Why does Scott Pruitt still have a job? Overnight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines Dems: Pruitt’s office security sweep was subpar MORE, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals related to spending.

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Trump has come to Pruitt’s defense following reports that the EPA administrator stayed in a condo owned by the wife of a lobbyist for well under market value, and that his agency spent millions of taxpayer dollars on a 20-person, full-time security detail.

Trump has in the past reportedly considered firing Kelly and serving as his own chief of staff.

It was reported earlier this year that Kelly has frequently threatened to quit as a means of leverage to get Trump to listen to him.

Sources also told The Hill earlier this month that Kelly's influence appeared to be fading in the West Wing.

The Axios report comes after a string of high-profile firings and departures in the Trump White House, including Shulkin, the VA secretary, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonRand's reversal advances Pompeo Frequent Trump critics NY Daily News, USA Today editorial boards back Pompeo Sarah Sanders: Dems have to decide if they love the US more than they hate Trump MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.