Former Trump chief of staff John Kelly says telling the president that things he wants to do were illegal was like 'French kissing a chainsaw'

  • Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly had a vivid simile for the experience to refusing his requests, according to an upcoming book. 
  • Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, said it was like "French kissing a chainsaw," per a Daily Beast report on the contents of the book "Donald Trump v. The United States."
  • It reports Kelly as saying: "Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do."
  • Neither Kelly or Trump have publicly responded to the book, which was written by Michael Schmidt, a correspondent for The New York Times.
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Donald Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly said having to refuse the president's requests was like "French kissing a chainsaw," according to a new book. 

"Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President" by New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt. It is due to be released on September 1. 

The chainsaw simile was included in a report on the book by The Daily Beast.

The book's synopsis describes it as the story of Trump "and the officials of his own government who tried to stop him."

Before Kelly served as Trump's chief of staff, he ran the Department of Homeland Security. At the time, Schmidt wrote, Kelly said that "Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do."

It continued: "Aside from questions of the law, Kelly has told others that one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO — a move that Trump has repeatedly threatened but never made good on, which would have been a seismic breach of American alliances and an extraordinary gift to Putin," according to Axios.

Kelly was the Secretary of Homeland Security before becoming White House Chief of Staff from July 2017 until January 2019. His departure from the role came after reports that he and Trump were no longer on speaking terms.

Neither The White House or Kelly have publicly commented on the reports made in the book, which used "secret FBI and White House documents and confidential sources inside federal law enforcement and the West Wing" in its reporting, according to the synopsis.

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