Panetta worried about Kelly: He’s a Marine, not a politician

Panetta worried about Kelly: He’s a Marine, not a politician
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Leon Panetta said in a new interview that he is worried about John Kelly but criticized the White House chief of staff's judgment regarding former staff secretary Rob Porter.

"I worry about John," Panetta, who served as White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration, told NPR. "Because look, he is first and foremost a Marine. He is not a politician."

Porter resigned last week after allegations of domestic abuse from his two ex-wives surfaced.


It was reported that Kelly, among other top officials, had been aware of the allegations but only took action once they were made public.

Many top administration officials defended Porter after allegations from one of his ex-wives surfaced.

Porter also said he "never misrepresented anything" to Kelly.

"Frankly, the last thing you can afford to do as chief of staff to the president is become the headline rather than the person working in the background," Panetta told NPR.

"You've got to have political judgment and you've got to think ahead as to what can happen that could damage the president and, for whatever reason, that didn't happen here and he's now going to pay a price for that," Panetta said.

In the wake of the scandal, Kelly has reportedly offered to resign, although the White House denies the reports.

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayKellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign Mark Zuckerberg, meet Jean-Jacques Rousseau? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Let's make a deal on infrastructure, taxes MORE signaled on Sunday that the president does not want Kelly to resign and has "full confidence" in his chief of staff.