Kelly was also asked about reports from CNN and The New York Times that Trump pushed for security clearance for his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, over the objections of White House staff, including Kelly himself.
Kelly did note that "It was he most important job I've ever had", and that party lines did not matter to him.
Kelly said that building a wall "from sea to shining sea" on the southern border was a "waste of money" but acknowledged that some physical barriers would help secure the border. "Illegal immigration is simply spiraling out of control". Kelly made a similar comment in April 2017 as DHS secretary, saying he's "not going to build a wall where it doesn't make sense".
"A small percentage of all heroin seized by [Customs and Border Protection agents] along the land border was between Ports of Entry", the DEA wrote in 2018.
And he pushed back against Trump's oft-stated comments that many immigrants seeking entry into the USA along the border with Mexico are criminals. "They're overwhelmingly not criminals", Kelly said Wednesday.
Despite Trump's repeated portrayal of immigrants as unsafe lawbreakers, Kelly said most asylum seekers are "overwhelmingly not criminals" and are "people coming up here for economic purposes". "If I told them I can get you 2,000 miles, they'd say 'Eh, seems like an terrible waste of money, '" he continued.
Kelly's claim is backed by some statistics: Undocumented immigrants were 16% less likely than native-born citizens to be convicted of murder in Texas in 2015, according to a case study by the CATO Institute, a libertarian think-tank.
Kelly also said that the administration's decision to implement a "zero tolerance" policy of separating children from migrant parents illegally crossing the border surprised federal agencies.
Redskins and Broncos completing trade for Case Keenum
He says Denver is getting Washington's 6th-round pick in 2020, while Washington gets Denver's 7th-round pick in 2020. Smith is considered a longshot to play in 2019, and the Redskins still haven't said whether he will play in 2019.