Grisham: John Kelly ill-equipped to work with 'the genius of our great president'

The White House on Saturday pushed back on former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE's recent statement saying he told Trump not to hire a chief of staff who was a "yes man" in order to avoid impeachment. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report MORE denied that Kelly ever made that statement, according to CNN.  

"He never said anything like that. If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does," he added. 

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White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamThe Hill's Morning Report - Voting rights takes center stage for Democrats Lawmakers take stock of election laws in wake of Jan. 6 anniversary Raskin: Grisham told Jan. 6 panel about 'names that I had not heard before' MORE also criticized Kelly in a statement to CNN. 

"I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President," she said. 

Kelly, speaking at a Washington Examiner political conference Saturday, said he warned Trump that he could be impeached if he didn't hire a chief of staff who would push back against bad impulses.

“I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth — don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached,” the former White House official said. 

“That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving,” he added. “It pains me to see what’s going on because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place.”

Kelly also criticized Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, calling the move a "catastrophically bad idea."

The House has launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his dealings with Ukraine.