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John Bolton defends John Kelly after Trump criticism

Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Bolton: North Korea 'more dangerous now' Demand for Trump-related titles sparks expected record year for political books MORE on Thursday came to the defense of former chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE after President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE lashed out over a series of criticisms Kelly made during an appearance at a New Jersey university.

"John Kelly is an honorable man. John and I have disagreed at times, as is commonplace at senior government levels, but he has always served his country faithfully," Bolton tweeted. "Conservatives especially have a responsibility to reject baseless attacks upon him."

Bolton and Kelly overlapped during their time at the White House, and their relationship was not always cordial. The two reportedly engaged in a shouting match in October 2018 during a heated argument about immigration.

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But they have defended each other at points after they both came under attack from Trump.

Trump ripped Kelly earlier Thursday in response to the former chief of staff's comments during a lecture series event at Drew University. Kelly defended impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanJohn Kelly called Trump 'the most flawed person' he's ever met: report Hayden endorses Biden, says Trump 'doesn't care about facts' Impeachment witness Alexander Vindman calls Trump Putin's 'useful idiot' MORE, said the media is "not the enemy of the people," and described migrants as "overwhelmingly good people."

"When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him," Trump tweeted. "He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do."

Kelly, who also served as the Homeland Security secretary, stepped down as chief of staff in January 2019.

Trump has also repeatedly gone after Bolton as excerpts of his forthcoming book have leaked out. The president accused Bolton of being a warmonger, claimed he "begged" for a job and asserted his former adviser clashed with other White House officials.

Kelly, however, offered support for Bolton after Trump denied allegations levied in the book.

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” he said.