During the Department of Homeland Security’s 15th anniversary celebration, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly lamented his move from the DHS to the West Wing, joking that "God punished" him.
“The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess,” Kelly said at an event marking DHS’s 15th anniversary.
"I wish I had worked harder in the six months I had in the job to not only better protect the men and women that get beat up so badly every day, but to really advertise in a much more effective way how good you are," Kelly said.
Kelly, a retired Marine general, was appointed to lead DHS in January 2017, but only served in that role for six months before he was tapped to replace Reince Priebus at the White House.
Some considered Kelly to be the 'adult in the room' as he entered the chief of staff position, but in the time since, he has felt the heat a few times -- most recently regarding former staff secretary Rob Porter.
Porter resigned in February after reports emerged that his two ex-wives accused him of domestic abuse. Kelly reportedly knew about the abuse allegations before they became public and initially continued to defend Porter after the first reports came out.