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

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE’s former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE on Wednesday said he probably would have worked for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 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 MulvaneyTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' 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.”