Yesterday twice failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced that while she isn't planning on running for the White House in 2020, she'll be loudly expressing her views on a variety of issues.
Looking back on his career, Kelly suggested that if the 2016 election had gone the other way, he "would have probably" agreed to serve as secretary Clinton's chief of staff.
In addition to noting the expense of Trump's proposed wall, Kelly also indicated to the audience Wednesday that Trump's characterization of many immigrants as criminals or rapists was unfounded.
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". He said disapproves of the president's decision to declare a national emergency in order to secure funds to build the border wall.
Kelly, who gave a talk titled "Leading America in a Time of Global Turbulence", also notably rebuked his former boss's much-touted claim that a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border would be necessary, or even effective. "I don't blame them for that".
"I think the whole national emergency thing right now is going to be wrapped up in the courts, if it even really gets through Congress, which right now it doesn't look like it will", Kelly said, according to a CNN reporter.
"And by the way, they're overwhelmingly not criminals", Kelly said of those illegally crossing the Southern border.
"Politics aside, it's all about governing the country", he added. When asked if the Trump administration was considering separating migrant children from their parents, he said, "Yes, I am considering in order to deter more movement along this terribly risky network". In the meantime, she's regularly critical of President Donald Trump.
Kelly on Wednesday defended himself in regard to Trump's zero-tolerance policy on border crossings, which resulted in family separations and missing migrant children, saying the policy "came as a surprise" to him and current DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.