John Kelly Was Furious at Elizabeth Warren for Having the Nerve to Disagree With Him

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is a true asshole and an unambiguous racist, but because of the cast of clowns he surrounds himself with, he often tends to fly under the radar. Sometimes, though, he surfaces in all his terrible glory. Case in point: in an email to an aide early last year obtained by BuzzFeed News, Kelly let loose on Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the high crime of being mad about the Trump administration’s travel ban.

Kelly, who was then the Secretary of Homeland Security, wrote in an email to DHS senior advisor Kevin Carroll on February 8, 2017:

Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone. What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.


“Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her to be quiet again!” Carroll responded, referencing the incident last year where Mitch McConnell ordered Warren to stop talking because she was reading from 1986 letters written by Coretta Scott King and Ted Kennedy opposing Jeff Sessions’ nomination to the federal judiciary. “Warren is running for president so early, trying too hard, and chasing bad pitches,” Carroll continued.

In a fundraising email posted on her campaign’s website, Warren explained her side of the call:

When I finally did get on the phone with John Kelly, I asked if he had an office number that I could use in the future to get in touch more quickly. He brushed me off, directing me to the main line listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s website (really). Even worse, he bizarrely insisted that I’d made the whole thing up and we’d never tried to reach him in the first place. I happened to be looking at all the emails between his staff and my staff when he said this, so I started reading them to him. He accused me again of making it all up.


So what happened next? You guessed it – I persisted. I asked again for his number. He hemmed and hawwed, and he again tried to give me the Department’s main line. Let’s just say that’s when the conversation really started getting awkward – and that I persisted longer than he did. Eventually, he didn’t just give me his office number – he gave me his cell number.

Before we got off the phone, I gave him something back for his troubles – a message on behalf of the American people that it was time to follow the court order and allow people stranded abroad to board planes into Logan International Airport.

In other words, Warren had an extremely good reason to be mad. And because John Kelly was either oblivious, extremely sensitive, or simply didn’t care about the people (mostly Muslims) whom his agency was effectively locking out of the country—or some combination of all three—his takeaway was that Elizabeth Warren is a little mean. Par for the course for the Full Breakfast Lover.

We’ve reached out to the White House for comment and will update with any response we receive.