President Donald Trump pushed back Sunday on a Washington Post report that described White House chief of staff John Kelly as increasingly frustrated and powerless, tweeting that the article “isn’t true” and that the paper is “far more fiction than fact.”
“Story after story is made up garbage – more like a poorly written novel than good reporting,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Always quoting sources (not names), many of which don’t exist. Story on John Kelly isn’t true, just another hit job!”
The Post’s story about Kelly is based on interviews with 16 “administration officials, outside advisers and presidential confidants,” many of whom spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. Among the details reported: Kelly and the president have had heated shouting matches, including over the naming of Kelly’s then-top deputy Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary after Kelly left the department to join the White House.
Trump spent part of the past week railing against Jeff Bezos, the Post’s owner and the CEO of Amazon. His tweets mark a return to a familiar form for him, as Trump often uses his Twitter feed to complain about specific stories, reporters or news outlets — sometimes all three at once.
Despite increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, the president also tweeted Sunday that he will “always be friends,” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two large trading nations have exchanged rounds of tariffs, while the White House eyes the possibility of even more duties due to what the administration says is China’s unfair treatment of tech companies.
“President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!”