“Well, Hitler did a lot of good things,” Trump reportedly told Kelly, who was explaining to the 45th President who the allies and adversaries were in both World Wars, according to Bender.
Trump denied the comments and that the conversation happened when asked about it by Bender.
CNN has reached out to Kelly for comment about the claim in the book.
Kelly, according to Bender, was stunned by Trump’s comment and pushed back against the then-commander in chief.
“Even if it was true that he was solely responsible for rebuilding the economy, on balance you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler,” Kelly reportedly told Trump. “You just can’t.”
Bender also wrote that “others said the remark stunned Kelly.”
“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”
He also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.
Harrington told CNN that this claim in the book is “false” as well.
CNN’s Margaret Given and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.