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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 ShulkinVeterans group sues to block advisers known as ‘Mar-a-Lago Crowd’ from influencing VA Mar-a-Lago insiders provided input on VA policy, personnel decisions: report Ahead of speech, Kansas City newspaper urges Trump to listen to veterans MORE, which occurred the same day. Sources also said that other officials, including Homeland Security chief Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenInvestigation into FEMA head referred to prosecutors: report Gowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil 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 PruittOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog says agency failed to properly monitor asbestos at schools| Watchdog won’t investigate former Superfund head’s qualifications| Florence causes toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina White House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report Trump’s EPA chooses coal over the American people 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 TillersonPompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story Rubio defends Haley over curtains story: Example of media pushing bias MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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