(The Hill) – John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, said he believes former President Trump is panicking after being arraigned on federal charges related to his handling of classified materials on Tuesday.
“He’s scared s—less,” Kelly told The Washington Post. “This is the way he compensates for that. He gives people the appearance he doesn’t care by doing this.”
Trump pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Miami on Tuesday. After leaving the courthouse, Trump greeted supporters at a local restaurant and then returned to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to deliver remarks to a cheering crowd.
In his speech Tuesday evening, Trump unloaded on Special Counsel Jack Smith, who brought the 37-count indictment against the former president, calling Smith a “deranged lunatic,” a “thug” and a “raging and uncontrolled Trump hater.”
“For the first time in his life, it looks like he’s being held accountable,” Kelly told the Post. “Up until this point in his life, it’s like, ‘I’m not going to pay you. Take me to court.’ He’s never been held accountable before.”
Kelly, who served as Trump’s chief of staff from July 2017 to January 2019, has become increasingly critical of his former boss since leaving the administration, reportedly describing the former president as “the most flawed person” he’s ever known.