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Kelly led the press briefing Thursday. Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

The president's Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters, "I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving ... [Chief of Staff] is the hardest job I've ever had."

The backdrop: Several media reports have included speculation that frustrations with President Trump will cause Kelly to quit, but he joked with reporters, saying "I'm not quitting today ... I don't think I'm being fired today."

  • On Trump's morning tweets about Puerto Rico: "The tweet about FEMA and first responders is accurate," but they will be there until the work is done, Kelly said.
  • On Kelly's strategy in the White House: "I just put some organization to it ... with a smile on my face," he said.
  • On the report that Trump wants to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal: Trump often says, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of them all?" instead of expanding the arsenal 10-fold, Kelly said.
  • On Trump's Iran deal announcement: Trump will announce his decision at 12:45pm Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
  • On Trump's frustrations: He's frustrated with Congress and "you," Kelly said to reporters. "When i read in the morning ... it is astounding to me how much is misrepresented," he said. "I would offer some advice to you .. develop some better sources."
  • On whether the president is alienating establishment Republicans: Trump "is willing to work with anyone." Some people "grandstand ... I'm not saying Senator Corker is that way." Kelly said he has called Corker.
  • On Trump's tweets: Kelly said they don't make his job as Chief of Staff harder. "I read in the paper that I've been a failure at ... controlling his tweeting ... I was not brought to this job to control anything except the flow of information to the president."
  • On why Trump waited on the health care executive order: There was a sense that the big bill would take care of the things in the order, but it didn't pass, Kelly said. "We probably won't have [another] health care bill until, say, the spring," he added.
  • On potential war with North Korea: "The American people should be concerned about a state that has developed a pretty good ICBM capability ... Let's hope that diplomacy works."
  • On the appointment of a Fed Chair: Interviews are "ongoing."

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.