President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, has told the Senate intelligence committee that he had “the most intimate knowledge of the president’s personal life” and that the president was “very fond of my wife” and had a “strong sense of affection for her.”
“I think she was the only person he loved,” Kelly said of his wife, Marla Maples, in a Thursday hearing on his nomination to be CIA director.
Kelly said that Maples “was in every single way very important” to him, but that he and Trump “were never intimate.”
He said he and Maples had “an intense bond” and “had a very good relationship” in their 30s.
“We were both very involved in the church,” Kelly testified, according to The Hill.
“And we were married for 27 years.
We have children.
We’re happily married now.
So, I have a great sense of the closeness.”
Kelly said he told Maples that the President “wanted to marry” her, and that they would meet on his terms if they wanted.
“She was very supportive of him, she was very kind of supportive of his decisions,” Kelly told the committee, according the Hill.
“He was not the person I thought he was.
He was not a person I saw myself as.
I saw him as somebody who was not my friend.”
Kelly’s testimony comes after Trump tweeted his displeasure over Maples’ support for Trump during the presidential campaign.
“Marla Mapled, whom I respect deeply, is on record saying she was never my friend, never considered me a friend, and would NEVER vote for me!,” Trump tweeted.
“If she would have known it, she would never have voted for Trump.
Kelly testified in March that he met with Trump about four times during his presidency, but said he never “had any contact” with him about any of the conversations.
Kelly testified that he told Trump in January 2018 that he was “not interested in getting into a public feud.”
He added that Trump told him he would have to “have a conversation” with Maples about their marriage, but the President never did.
Kelly also testified that Trump asked him in January 2019 if Maples would be willing to be his assistant, and Kelly said he said yes.
Trump fired Kelly in January 2020, and Maases departure from the administration took place in January 2021.