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

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE’s former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE on Wednesday said he probably would have worked for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchumer: 'The big lie is spreading like a cancer' among GOP America departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' 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.”