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 TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens 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 ShulkinTrump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? It’s time to end the scare tactics and get to work for our veterans MORE, which occurred the same day. Sources also said that other officials, including Homeland Security chief Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report Trump wants border wall black, pointed: report Former DHS officials blocked Trump plan to arrest thousands of migrants before being ousted: report 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 PruittOn The Money: New financial disclosures provide glimpse of Trump's wealth | Walmart, Macy's say tariffs will mean price hikes | Consumer agency says Education Department blocking student loan oversight Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Lawmakers take EPA head to task for refusing to demand Pruitt repay travel expenses 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 TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump frustrated with advisers over Iran, wants to speak to leaders in Tehran: report Juan Williams: Trump's scorecard is rife with losses MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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