Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, claims in his forthcoming book that Trump’s chief of staff and retired four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly shoved Ivanka Trump — Kushner’s wife — after a difficult meeting in the Oval Office.
The book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” releases August 23. An excerpt was obtained by The Washington Post last week, in which Kushner characterizes Gen. Kelly as having a “Jekyll-and-Hyde” demeanor, adding that the aggressive incident revealed “his true character.”
“One day he had just marched out of a contentious meeting in the Oval Office,” the book states. “Ivanka was walking down the main hallway in the West Wing when she passed him. Unaware of his heated state of mind, she said, ‘Hello chief.’ Kelly shoved her out of the way and stormed by. She wasn’t hurt, and didn’t make a big deal about the altercation, but in his rage Kelly had shown his true character.”
According to Kushner, Kelly later offered Ivanka Trump “a meek apology, which she accepted.”
In an email to the Post, Kelly denied the incident.
“I don’t recall anything like you describe,” he wrote. “It is inconceivable that I would EVER shove a woman. Inconceivable. Never happen,” Kelly said. “Would never intentionally do something like that. Also, don’t remember ever apologizing to her for something I didn’t do. I’d remember that.”
Kushner claimed there was at least one witness to the apology: Julie Radford, Ivanka Trump’s chief of staff.
“It was the first and only time that Ivanka’s staff saw Kelly visit their second-floor corner of the West Wing,” the book alleges.
A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump asserted that Kushner’s story about his wife being shoved is true.
In his book, Kushner describes Kelly as being dismissive of Ivanka Trump in private while publicly offering her “compliments to her face that she knew were insincere.”
“Then the four-star general would call her staff to his office and berate and intimidate them over trivial procedural issues that his rigid system often created,” Kushner writes. “He would frequently refer to her initiatives like paid family leave and the child tax credit as ‘Ivanka’s pet projects.’
Kushner also highlights a separate incident involving Kelly in Beijing, where the general became aggressive after a Chinese security official attempted to block Trump’s military aide from accompanying the president to a meeting.
“Kelly caught a glimpse of the scuffle and rushed toward the doorway, grabbing the Chinese officer by the neck and pinning him against the wall,” Kushner writes. “‘You people are rude,’ he screamed. ‘The Chinese people are rude! This is terrible! This is not how you treat your guests!’ A protocol official rushed in, realizing the security officer’s mistake, and apologized profusely. But Kelly stormed away, boycotting the meeting and leaving a chair next to the president conspicuously empty.”
Ivanka isn’t the only Trump who has butt heads with Kelly in the past. In 2020, President Trump said he couldn’t fire Kelly “fast enough” and that the retired Marine was in “way over his head” in the White House.