According to a new book by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly covertly eavesdropped on former President Donald Trump’s phone calls.
The New York Post cited book excerpts that stated that Trump just learned that Kelly had been listening to his calls right before Kelly departed the government.
According to The Post, Kushner said in “Breaking History” that Kelly’s replacement, Mick Mulvaney, had already been chosen when the eavesdropping was discussed on December 28, 2018.
“Before we departed, Mulvaney and I met with the president to discuss his upcoming schedule. Then Mulvaney handed Trump a document to sign,” Kushner said.
According to the book, Mulvaney informed Trump that “this will put an end to Kelly’s habit of eavesdropping to all of your phone calls.”
According to Kushner, Mulvaney “explain[ed] that Kelly had granted himself the power to listen to the president’s calls covertly.”
Trump was incensed to learn that his calls had been recorded, according to Kushner.
“‘Kelly did what?’ the president asked, stunned at the invasion of privacy,” Kushner wrote.
Trump concluded: “End that immediately,” per the book.
When Kelly was recruited in 2017, analysts said he would seek to instill discipline into the chaos of the Trump administration.
He was one of the senior administration officials who, according to accounts at the time, believed it was his responsibility to guide Trump and stop him from behaving impulsively.
When the two of them were working together in the White House, their relationship was tumultuous. Kelly downgraded Kushner’s security clearance in March 2018, thus excluding him from important meetings.
Kelly’s relationship with Trump reportedly worsened during his final months in the White House, and the two were reportedly scarcely able to communicate.
Kelly has also been criticized in other passages of Kushner’s book, including the claim that Kelly physically shoved Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s wife.
Kelly denied that assertion in a message to The Washington Post.
“It is impossible for me to imagine ever pushing a woman. Inconceivable. never occur, “Kelly composed. Kelly could not be reached for comment about the alleged eavesdropping.