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 TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' 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 ShulkinVA nominee heads to full Senate confirmation The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Anticipation builds for Trump’s SCOTUS pick The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Dramatic battle looms after Kennedy’s retirement MORE, which occurred the same day. Sources also said that other officials, including Homeland Security chief Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMexico's president presses Pompeo on reuniting migrant families Kushner to join Pompeo for meetings with Mexican leaders Trump administration says it has completed reunifying migrant kids under 5 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 PruittOvernight Energy: House to vote on anti-carbon tax measure | Dem says EPA obstructed 'politically charged' FOIA requests | GOP looks to overhaul endangered species law Top Dem: EPA slowed ‘politically charged’ FOIA requests Majority of registered voters say Pruitt 'conducted himself inappropriately' at EPA: poll 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 TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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