'The Briefing Room': Chief of staff John Kelly gives first White House press briefing

ABC News' political team talks Trump's tweets and headlines from Thursday's White House press briefing.
17:04 | 10/12/17

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Transcript for 'The Briefing Room': Chief of staff John Kelly gives first White House press briefing
And happy birthday to you coming to the Washington bureau of ABC news this is the briefing room on John stand Tucci alongside making use of Justin vessel. We surprise guests in the briefing room say there's a collective is that general Kelley around the newsroom here. It was indeed we have not seen general John Kelly since he's been White House chief its debt at the podium. And guys it was kinda refreshing to see him up there and he seemed to really be enjoying it and making it known from the get go. I'm here I'm not going anywhere today tomorrow as far as I know I'm in this job but I'm enjoying it. And context alert. It was a week ago it was Wednesday act over force. If we had our secretary of state giving a press conference saying I am not retiring. Snow all of these rumors all of the speculation that there's going to be a big upheaval and more chaos in the cabinet and with it. He. He's now the third senior member of the cabinet to come up and sort of say. What you're hearing is not true. First she suffered Tillerson although he kind of flop that one right it's up from Kelly yesterday sought from Madison who is refuting yet another story that our prompt and like so. Now significant. And and that team right there the fact that you have Kelly utility matters. That is being that this. Three for the threat there if you will but it always Tennessee together they've always the united front and into her patrol yeah they're they're really surrounding all these situations but I think that we were all stunned that. Tillerson came out reacting to that report from NBC news that. The fact that he you know he near mean out of called the president moron after a briefing. Quickly knock that one down in Mattis came down were more of that reporting as of now Kelley's ally there just hottest thing guys this is the end of. Iowa guide explaining to the bureau that there were alive and knew we didn't report this booklet NBC at us but also that there was a lot of speculation that Kelly he was not happy and he was gonna resign. I mean that was making its way around the rumor mill in Washington I think he felt a need obviously address that. And he still did say this isn't my favorite job I've really like being an enlisted marine correct any kind of his very dry way. Also interesting at these some of the things that he had to say and bouncing it back to the press the end. That we're hearing all of these rebuttals. Coming from the cabinet officials and and for general Kelley. But you have to wonder is coming from the top is right is this the we have a president who is very much concerned about what's being said. In the short ranking the one thing that we should all take place from today he's at general Kelly he announced that podium because now from one. I want to go to the White House north lawn where. Jordan Phelps and our team is there Jordan we we were all shot two over here to see general Kelley at the podium what was the reaction courtroom Evelyn sort of walk out with our Sanders there. Hey guys gala this surprise visitor there was clearly shock and around. Eileen and she has staff Kelly came out as the president likes to call him that cheat and started fielding reporters' questions. I it was truly remarkable to see that she just out of the White House come out and actively refuse him that he. Eyes on the verge of quitting or being fired and John and you know. I clearly this is something that the president must have asked general Kelly come out and doing to you you know beat down those reports that price it. Hi it clearly a sign that the president is very frustrated by all this reporting. I this rumor mill around the status of his chief of staff. He absolutely and I think that you know this is the last did you receive gy broke in line we'll tell you that. Well already multiple White House sources have texted me. Thrilled with Kelly's performance happy he got out there gory scenes like the full west wing probably going into the oval. Are happy with this I do want to move on though because. The other story that we've all been focusing on today's what's happening down in Puerto Rico and the threats from the president over Twitter early this morning. Turning to actually pull FEMA out of Puerto Rico now now we know the island is still in total disrepair. We've been covering this for several weeks setting an electricity stony island as. Like he. Countries without power and water so this is very much an emergency. And ours is if they asked about that today because of Trump's police this morning which said that more or less a book down to we can't keep. FEMA in Puerto Rico forever exclamation. And the military and an edit freaked out people freaked out that he's gonna pull out now so. She as Kelly that direct question he said we'll stay there to the jobs done. And that's the other thing these guys do it amounts peace conference they're playing clean halftime yet this of that that was little bit cleanup mission. And you heard Kelly really pursing an out there singled to military and accuracy for birdie on all these first responders are gonna stay forever but there will be rebuilding we will be there and and and Jordan throwing it over to UV has yet this has been an ongoing battle between the president. And the mayor of San Juan he was down there a week though and and they had a sort of weird interaction. When he had a briefing down there in Puerto Rico. Yes they sure did an and that moment where they actually met they shook hands and and when we rid of the play back. The video we couldn't help but that that that may or San Juan actually told the president this isn't about politics. This is about saving lives and that president. Thinks is sort of ignore that comment had been made to him. In that briefing at but the White House has been adding back very strongly against the criticism coming from the mayor. A stand in line is saying that she was actually silent and that briefing and that if she had something that's how this White House that would have been that they need to do it and and she simply. Well she got on a couple news outlets afterwards and has made it known ever since it you're just joining us is the briefing or any BC I'm John San Suu Kyi. Wolves I just an official and making use Jordan Phelps is at the White House keeping a watchful life for us I do wanna move on the to another topic that. Broke very early this morning this family. That was freed Pakistan government helping United States rescue them. That one is an American in the wife the other is a Canadian husband. You've been eight keeping an eye on this all Davis is uninteresting one. It's really it's what it is it's strange and yeah sad. This family's been held there since 2012. There are released overnight they're still in Pakistan and why is that the husband doesn't wanna get on the plane right. He doesn't want to to leave he's he's Canadian he's worried that he's going to be arrested because get this. He was once married to pay a former gitmo detainees sister so he thinks. Yup there's obviously some trauma that would have happened after as Kelly but he fighters in a whole cure but. And it's also some question about how this came out you know I mean there's no hard evidence that it was a real raid during. The pakistanis. And you heard trump and Kelly say today it's about time that they're cooperating respecting us which suggests that it. It was kind of an easy mission for the pact won't let him now and and tropical I don't know you know right we don't know exactly how they don't know exactly how can trump credit for hint last plane his speech that this sort of looked like something was happening. If someone that. Had not respected us now is your. I think yes that wording really acting and captured the imagination of is this an accomplice. I think it's a what what what does this mean. I also been thinking about this as a news story and just imagine what this story would be. If we didn't have everything else that we've seen over the past couple weeks I mean this N and of course there's a lot more alert and we're hearing on our yeah and I and I. Adding to your point there are so many things going on it's hard to keep focus on one of the things that we haven't fallen from quite some time you all been following this insured home. Cattle news today another executive order signing where are we at the moment what was that old. I'm not really clear on. Well it here here's act I can tell you two different stories. One this is a big deal second this is not a big. So that carry this story while making news are you you've got a president EN is saying this is in a very short time. Is predicting that people are going to be able to get cheaper health care in. That's unclear. Yeah it this isn't directed this is an executive order telling agencies that they should consider. Allowing small businesses to band together and negotiate. With the goal. Having. They are bones she airplane exit now could this become a big deal if large groups start doing nest there are public health. Experts that are warning it. Those those groups that are banding together and offering bare bones deals could attract the young and healthy then and it's. Really do some damage to induce people with preexisting conditions Gary Sick who are counting on the exchange. But if you go over to the White House in Jordan I want to bring you in for this you know this is still considered progress for the administration it's still a step forward here. And and help here is really being in as one needs it to mean recently thorn in the president's side that he can't get anything forward moving. On health care one of his signature campaign promises. Yes that's right John you're seeing a frustrated president prime here on this issue that's really why I think he was socked today at your -- this. Signing ceremony where he signed this executive order but as Macon alluded to you. Out what actually. Changes today is a little less clear the executive order that actually have any real T. It's just advising different departments within the executive branch to look in Q how this might be done so I it was a photo op but it actually doesn't take. At any at facts today at south this is an example of the president clearly wanting. To have something to show on he's signature campaign issue. That he simply hasn't been able to to let Ronnie in a real way in and trying to take sound executives at steps forward the president casting this as a purse that. I kept on doing obamacare. But of course act as I mentioned that order that was signed today doesn't really I do anything. Now while it's it's something as as many folks have said they're trying to get something through if you're just tuning in and does the other shots you're seeing right now the president's going to be holding. An event pretty shortly in the east room of the White House he's enemy announcing is new I DHS tape. It was actually the current deputy chief of staff. Two years Jane Nelson shall be taking over she was John Kelly's number two. Over in the White House actually served as his chief of staff. At the Department of Homeland Security so be watching that the other thing I just want to go back to briefing uses all the John Kelly briefing today. The First Amendment you know we there's been a lot of debates about that recently the president he's jumping right into this and before we dive in I do want to take a listen to what John Kelly said 21 reporter when asked about the president's frustration. Put the right back on the media take a lesson. What is frustrations as you. All of you. All of you would know many view as you say when I started when I first started talking. I'm a reasonable when I read in the morning I read to you tell you but. Watch TV in the morning it's just it is astounding to me how much. Is this report this reported no we'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off move. Context lead sort of vehicle. But I just or opportunity five cents a you know maybe develop some better sources. You know I'm rating from our phone number let us know but. You know I think that really has been the frustration for the president. Simple fight that one sound bite right there at the man is absolutely packed greeted with immediate you'll he's getting a totally unfair break but but the week that story's kind of turned that threats against the broadcast networks he'll pull licenses. That that skinny little bit dark excellent write it not possible let's think that very clear that. After that you threatening to pull licenses from broadcast TV. I can't do that be it you know FCC and its commissioners would have to decide to do that knew no one ever he says that's not Cox interactive well local levels it's just people. Making his I have. I have I've beaten to say and were ending it might meet possible. I mean it might be possible attacks and academic today from GW. Two it. It says that there is some precedent here a crime then it's so so. Basically what this whole argument that the president threatening to revoke licenses it's doing it's bouncing it to the FCC. The SEC. According to this academic that I talked you and and from what I know what if he can choose to investigate. What ever they want to investigate. I have a question now Powell. This academic city feel this is hot so ball chi chi Ali is not an act in superb point. Theaters do is their fair point. Did this person assume that it was possible not possible likely unlikely highly online news skeptical and evidence. But cases in the past we are based on contents specifically during the civil rights era. One net local affiliate. Having at their license revoked because they were refusing to show to broadcast some of the news that was going on. Pertaining to civil right now that was not because an administration was leaning on the FCC that was because of public interest groups now say. The Republicans or the trap administration. Got different interest groups to lobby the FCC. And make it case that. The news networks that weren't doing justice to the true. An investigation could be launched occur again and then there's there's a way to weave that and or we have not heard about it from my point the chairman we have a new FC. I'm Little League bring to our neighboring Jordan from the White House concerning the Euro over there you've been able watching every day with what's happening Devin Britton attention what are your thoughts on what's happening right now between the president and the per. Yeah outlook we we've seen the president put these these threatening tweets out there adds you guys just broke down the feasibility of actually doing dances at not so great. But what we see here is the president using last earned this is something we know the president does a lot he makes anti threats he likes to beat top he likes. To make these strong. Rides statements that doesn't mean. That he's actually going to use hand thing I take yesterday as a case in point. I'm in the Oval Office he weighs. He was asked point blank fire a quarter. Do you support putting restrictions on the media and the president sent now he does and but sit that's kind of what we're seeing here is this is. There's a threat the president's making he's frustrated. But does he really intend to take action. Now. I don't think he actually. Spec it's an interesting point of contract. While the president is out attacking media outlets that he is unhappy with their coverage at. Appointed specifically in peace he person. Reporting they've been doing at recently regarding the moron comments and whether he. Asked to increasing nuclear arsenal he sat with Sean Hannity per eight full hour last night for an exclusive interview. So while the president is spending a lot of time bashing in BC networks that are doing covered he. He doesn't like he then sat with Fox News which has spent more friendly in their coverage of the president. For an hour so this president at not exactly an in any of the media but certainly. It does not like me yet that isn't favorable to. An enemy. Tough coverage that is for short Jordan helped thank you at the White House we're gonna wrap a lot of news happening this afternoon. Digger don't wanna stick with BBC for just an official and making news on jobs and Tucci. Catch us next time on the briefing room and always too many BC news.com. For the latest have a great deck.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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