White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says he’s neither quitting nor getting fired

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly held a surprise news conference on Thursday that, while wide-ranging, clearly was intended to send one message: that he feels secure and satisfied in his job, and frustrated with press reports to the contrary.

“I don’t believe — and I just talked to the president — I don’t think I’m being fired today. And I am not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving,” he said jocularly in his first moments at the lectern.

“So,” he summarized, “unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired, and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow.”

That the president’s chief of staff would take over the daily White House briefing was remarkable evidence of the extent to which the West Wing has been roiled by stories of internal intrigue, and by the president’s aggravation with them. Kelly answered reporters’ questions for about 30 minutes, longer than most briefings by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who on Thursday stood off to the side.