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Republican Says Obama Is Running Shadow Government

A Republican member of the House believes former President Barack Obama is running a shadow government.

Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania was heard on video making his comment at a private Republican Party event, the Washington Examiner reports.

Kelly referred to Obama's decision to stay in Washington, D.C. following his presidency.

"I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else because he is there for one purpose and for one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda," Kelly said. "It just doesn't make sense. And people sit back and say, 'My gosh, why can't you guys get this done?'" he added.

Kelly, a possible candidate for Pennsylvania governor in 2018, was speaking at the Mercer County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner, the Philadelphia Inquirer notes.

Kelly's office released a statement regarding his remarks.

"Rep. Kelly delivered his remarks at a private meeting to an audience of fellow Republicans," the statement read. "He was sharing the frustration of everyone in the room over how they believe certain Obama administration holdovers within the federal bureaucracy are attempting to upset President [Donald] Trump's agenda."

Kelly's staff confirmed that the Republican "fully supports" Obama staying in Washington until the former president's youngest daughter finishes high school.

Tom Qualtere, Kelly's spokesman, also made remarks on the issue on March 10.

"Because of the extraordinary interest in Rep. Kelly's remarks, it is worth clarifying that Rep. Kelly does not believe that President Obama is personally operating a shadow government," Qualtere said, according to the Examiner. "He does believe it would be helpful to the new administration if the former president would personally call for an end to all leaks and obstruction by personnel from his administration who currently serve in the executive branch under President Trump."

Although White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not go as far as Kelly, he did give support to some of his points.

"I think that there's no question when you have eight years of one party in office, that there are people who stay in government who are affiliated with and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration," Spicer told reporters at his March 10 press briefing, The Hill reports.

"I don’t think it should come as any surprise that there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration and may have believed in that agenda and want to continue to seek it," he added.

Right-wing media outlets like Breitbart News and the Federalist have carried reports on the issue in recent days, according to the Washington Examiner.

Sources: Washington Examiner, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hill / Photo credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via TIME

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