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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly hangs his head during heated Charlottesville press conference

  • President Donald Trump held a press conference about infrastructure spending on Tuesday, where he also touched on health care and the economy.
  • Reporters pressed on the fate of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, as well as the president's response to a violent white supremacy rally this weekend in Charlottesville.
  • The photo was taken during the Q&A session, according to NBC News' Kristin Donnelly, who tweeted the image.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was photographed staring at the ground, arms crossed, as the president fielded questions on Tuesday about White House staff and a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

President Donald Trump held a Tuesday press conference that was slated to address infrastructure spending but turned into a wide-ranging, chaotic question-and-answer session.

The press conference's Q&A session became a rapid-fire exchange between the press and the president, who had already drawn criticism for his response to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in one death.

"You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly," Trump said at Trump Tower in New York. Trump noted the rally started over the potential removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, asking, "Are we going to take down Thomas Jefferson's statue?"

Reporters also pressed Trump on the fate of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The photo of Kelly was taken during the Q&A session, according to NBC News' Kristin Donnelly, who tweeted the image, which quickly went viral on Twitter.

Kelly, a general and former commander in the Marines, has been lauded by political commentators as Trump's "last hope" to bring order to the White House staff. The New York Times' sources said Kelly was seen as a "beacon of discipline."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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