Days after President Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea, the president’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, said Thursday that diplomacy was crucial to dealing with the nuclear-armed nation.
“Right now there’s great concern about a lot of Americans that live in Guam. Right now we think the threat is manageable,” Kelly told White House reporters on Thursday. “But over time, if it grows beyond where it is today — well, let’s hope diplomacy works.”
North Korea was just one topic that Kelly touched on in a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room that seemed timed mainly to allow him to debunk numerous recent media reports that he is unhappy in his job and might quit. It was his first such public exchange with reporters in the nine tumultuous weeks since he replaced Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.