Ex-chief of staff John Kelly said if Trump was a ‘real man’ he would’ve gone to the Capitol on January 6 to stop the rioters: book

Donald Trump John Kelly

White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on October 5, 2017.Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

  • Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly slammed his ex-boss as the January 6 insurrection took place.

  • “If he was a real man, he would go down to the Capitol and tell them to stop,” Kelly told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

  • Karl details their conservation in his new book, which comes out Tuesday.

John Kelly, Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, did not mince words about his ex-boss as rioters violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, according to a new book.

“If he was a real man, he would go down to the Capitol and tell them to stop,” Kelly said of Trump to ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl during a phone call as the insurrection was taking place.

The conversation comes in Karl’s forthcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” which will be published Tuesday. Insider obtained an early copy of the book.

Kelly added that he believed the riot — led by Trump supporters while Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win — was enough to invoke the 25th Amendment, a process to remove a president unable to fulfill their duties.

“If I was still there, I would call the cabinet and start talking about the Twenty-Fifth Amendment,” Kelly told Karl, referring to the ability of the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet members to remove a president from office. Despite bipartisan calls to remove Trump at the time, then-Vice President Mike Pence opposed the effort.

Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, served as Trump’s second chief of staff from mid-2017 to early 2019. Since his departure from the Trump administration, Kelly has been critical of Trump at times. In the aftermath of the insurrection, Kelly said that Americans needs to “look infinitely harder at who we elect” as president in the future.

On January 6, Trump repeated his baseless election claims at a rally, roughly an hour before his supporters stormed the Capitol. After the rioters breached the building, Trump tweeted an attack at Pence over his refusal to decertify the 2020 election results, which the vice president had no constitutional authority to do. As police officers and rioters continued to clash, Trump sent two tweets calling people to “Stay peaceful!” and for “No violence!”

Hours later, Trump tweeted a video of himself continuing to peddle false election claims and telling the rioters to “go home.” He also told the rioters that he knew their “pain” and thought they were “very special.”

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