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Kelly says Trump is 'distracted' by Russian Federation probe

Kelly says Trump is 'distracted' by Russian Federation probe

The White House chief of staff, John Kelly, defended the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy toward immigrants who cross the border illegally, telling NPR that separating parents from their children could be a "tough deterrent".

Kelly first said that "most" undocumented immigrants "are not bad people", but followed it up by saying "they don't integrate well; they don't have skills".

Kelly told NPR that he and Trump have a "close relationship", often spending up to eight hours each day together. This means English was the language they spoke at home or that the person self-reported speaking the language well.

However, he floated the idea of finding a path to citizenship for the more than 425,000 immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States legally for decades under TPS.

The comments could further raise tensions between Mr Trump and Mr Kelly, whose attempt to bring order to the White House and authoritative tone are said to have grated on the president.

"It's like, you know, you walk in and you know the first couple of minutes of every conversation might revolve around that kind of thing", Kelly said in an interview with NPR that aired Friday.

'They don't integrate well.

He added, "They're coming here for a reason". And I sympathize with the reason.

Malcolm Nance, an MSNBC military analyst, tweeted Kelly's comments were "disgraceful" and that the chief of staff "embraces openly racist & bigoted ideals".

"My opinion is always to speak truth to strength. He always listens. Sometimes he takes the opinion, sometimes he doesn't".

"After about six weeks in a job one of the reporters said to me, "Look you were our worst nightmare".

"There's times of great frustration, mostly because of the stories I read about myself or others that I think the world of, which is just about everybody who works at the complex and wonder whether it's worth it to be subjected to that", he said.