NYT: Secret Service had to break up fight between Kelly and Lewandowski

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump ramps up attacks against Twitter Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report House panel releases long-awaited transcripts from Russia probe MORE got into a physical altercation earlier this year outside the Oval Office and had to be separated by the Secret Service, The New York Times reported Monday. 

The Times, citing a half-dozen people familiar with the altercation, reported that Kelly grabbed Lewandowski "by the collar and tried to have him ejected from the West Wing."

The altercation occurred on Feb. 21 and was preceded by an argument between the two men, according to the newspaper.


The two men were inside the Oval Office that day with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE, and Kelly reportedly complained to the president that Lewandowski was making money off Trump through a contract with a super PAC supporting Trump's reelection, according to the Times. 

Kelly was also angry because Lewandowski had criticized him on television for his handling of security clearances for Rob Porter, the newspaper reported. Porter was a former top aide to Trump who resigned amid abuse accusations from his two ex-wives.

When Kelly and Lewandowski left the Oval Office, Kelly called for Lewandowski to be removed from the White House and the two began arguing. The Times reported that Kelly grabbed Lewandowski by the collar and tried to push him against the wall.

According to the newspaper, Lewandowski didn't get physical in response, but the Secret Service was still called in.  

The altercation reportedly happened on the same day that the White House was hosting families of victims in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Lewandowski, who exited the Trump campaign in June 2016, was at the White House for a scheduled meeting with the president.

The Times's reporting on the altercation comes after Kelly reportedly engaged in a profanity-laced shouting match with national security adviser John Bolton last week outside the Oval Office.

The White House did not explicitly deny that report and did not comment on the Times's latest report.

On Sunday, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci claimed Kelly throws "hissy fits" and has "hurt the morale" inside the White House.