White House chief of staff John Kelly wasn’t very happy after Donald Trump’s performance at the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was actually so enraged that he reportedly told Republican lawmakers to rebuke Trump’s controversial remarks.
Three sources who chose to stay anonymous spoke with Vanity Fair and said that Kelly was furious at the president and urged Republican lawmakers to take action against Trump.
According to Vanity Fair, Kelly told Trump that his remarks about the Mueller investigation would worsen the situation. Kelly reportedly then called Republicans on Capitol Hill and told them they could publicly speak out against Trump’s comments.
Kelly gave the green light to Republican lawmakers to speak out against Trump and they did not waste the opportunity. Multiple lawmakers from both parties called Trump’s performance at the Putin summit “weak.”
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) called Trump’s statements “shameful” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said they were a “sign of weakness.”
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) even condemned Trump’s remarks and said it was wrong to draw a moral equivalence between Russia and the U.S.
On Tuesday, Trump tried taking back his comments at the summit.
“I would like to clarify, in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’ ” Trump said. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ ”
Former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller noted to Vanity Fair that a 24-hour turnaround is abnormal for Trump.
“Any of these other kerfuffles, if he had addressed it the next day, we wouldn’t have had that many days of things, like ‘s-hole countries,’ ” Miller said, referring to the time Trump reportedly derided immigrants from “sh-thole countries.”