The aide, Cliff Sims, described being shocked by a speech Kelly made to staff at the Eisenhower executive office building shortly after Kelly replaced outgoing chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Sims writes in his book Team of Vipers, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, that Kelly’s speech “hammered” on the theme of service to country coming first, and service to the president second.

“Kelly seemed to be saying that… it might be necessary to subvert the president’s wishes in service of some amorphous higher calling,” Sims writes.