John Kelly says he probably would have worked for Hillary Clinton if asked
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE’s former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE on Wednesday said he probably would have worked for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor MORE if she had won the 2016 election and asked him to join her team.

Kelly made the comments during a Q&A session at Duke University. The event was closed to cameras, but ABC News obtained an audio recording of the comments.

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“If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, and she had called me and said, ‘I really need a good chief of staff here,’ I’d have probably done it,” Kelly said.

“Politics aside, it’s all about governing the country,” he added.

Kelly was also asked about his advice for his successor, acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' MORE, to which he joked: “Run for it.”

Striking a more serious tone, Kelly then said that Mulvaney should just tell Trump “what he needs to hear.”

Kelly, who left the White House at the end of 2018, has reportedly been highly critical of his time in the White House. The former chief of staff reportedly had disputes with the president over a number of issues, and once called the Trump White House a “miserable place to work.”

A book by former West Wing communications aide Cliff Sims published earlier this year reported that Kelly once said being fired would be the "best day I’ve had since I walked into this place.”