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Essential Washington

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington.

White House

Trump's chief of staff: 'I do not follow the tweets'

Hours after President Trump provoked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter, suggesting he is "short and fat," the White House chief of staff said he tells aides not to react to Trump's comments on social media.

"Someone, I read the other day, said we all just react to the tweets," said Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, speaking with a group of reporters after a presidential news conference Sunday in Vietnam. "We don’t. I don’t. I don’t allow the staff to. We know what we’re doing.”

Kelly said, "Believe it or not, I do not follow the tweets.” 

“I find out about them," he continued. "But for our purposes, my purpose, is we make sure the president is briefed up on what he’s about to do."

Referring to Trump's tweets, Kelly said, "They are what they are." And, in response to a question about whether he needs to take them into account to develop policy, Kelly insisted he does not.

“We develop policy in the normal traditional staff way,” he said.

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