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Trump invites reporter into Oval Office to talk about support for Kelly

Trump invites reporter into Oval Office to talk about support for Kelly
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE on Tuesday invited New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi into the Oval Office in order to convince her that he has a positive relationship with his chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

Nuzzi on Wednesday penned an article published under the title "My Private Oval Office Press Conference With Donald Trump, Mike Pence, John Kelly, and Mike Pompeo."

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In it, she described Trump's efforts to convince her that the White House is "smooth-running" after he found out that she was pursuing a story about the reports that Kelly is unhappy in his position and seeking to leave. 

“The chief is doing a very good job," Trump told Nuzzi, according to the New York piece. "I’m very happy with him, we have a very good relationship, number one. Number two, I didn’t offer anybody else the job. I didn’t talk to anybody about the job ... I’m not looking." 

"Now, look, with time, do people leave?" he added, referring to Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump mulling State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert for UN envoy: report Iran says it killed 'mastermind' behind military parade attack Haley slams China over 'internment of civilians' in first public remarks since announcing resignation MORE, who announced on Tuesday that she is leaving her post as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"There is no chaos," the president said, a message he repeated throughout the interview.

Over the course of Nuzzi's sit-down with the president, she wrote Vice President Pence, Kelly, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US State Dept. denies report Pompeo heard recording of Khashoggi's murder The Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump MORE, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kelly's chief of staff Nick Ayers all came into the room.

She wrote that she does not know if they had all been told she would be sitting down with Trump.

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward in his recent tell-all book "Fear" about the Trump White House reported that Kelly once called being Trump's chief of staff "the worst job I've ever had" and called the president an "idiot."

Kelly has denied the accounts.

Multiple outlets have reported that Kelly is eyeing the exit, with some outlets suggesting he was considering leaving by the end of the summer.

Nuzzi wrote that she was pursuing a lead that Trump had offered the chief of staff position to Ayers.

"I didn’t offer Nick the job," Trump told her. "I mean, I’m telling you in front. Now, you can write that I did. But now, you have him, you have me, and I didn’t offer him a job and he didn’t accept a job. And there was no offer."

She asked Kelly for his response to reports that he and the president have a strained relationship.

"He’s a great president,” Kelly said, according to the magazine. “Do we disagree sometimes? We do. My job is to make sure that that man has all of the information available from whatever source so that he makes the best decision, and then, when that decision is made, my job is to then implement that decision." 

"There is, to the best of my knowledge, no chaos in this building," he said. "We’ve gotten rid of a few bad actors, but everyone works very, very well together." 

Throughout the interview, Trump went on long tangents about his administration's accomplishments, at one point asking Sanders to bring in two sheets of paper with a list of the White House's successes.