Ok, so John Kelly, rather than coming out and decrying the fact Donald Trump used his son as political cannon fodder this week, instead decided to hold an actual press conference to defend Trump’s errant remarks to the widow of an African American service member killed in Niger.
And yes, I am serious. Here are the bullet points from Bloomberg:
- KELLY: NO `PERFECT WAY’ TO CONSOLE FALLEN SOLDIERS’ FAMILIES
- KELLY: TRUMP EXPRESSED CONDOLENCES IN BEST WAY HE COULD
- KELLY SAYS HE WAS `BROKEN HEARTED’ BY CRITICISM OF TRUMP CALL
- President Trump “expressed his condolences in the best way he could,” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says, adding he was “stunned” and “brokenhearted” at Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson’s criticism of the call between Trump and a killed military service member’s family.
- Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, detailed the process presidents and military leaders go through when making those calls
- Kelly says not all presidents make the calls, most send letters, and his recommendation to Trump was to not do the calls
- Says he passed on to Trump a recommendation he got, which was to say the fallen soldier was doing what he wanted to do and knew what he was getting into and, when he died was surrounded by the best men on Earth in his comrades; “that’s what the president tried to say” to the families of those killed in Niger
- Kelly says after criticism blew up, he went to Arlington National Cemetery and walked among the headstones for deceased military service members, some of whom died following his orders
- The issue is deeply personal for Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010
- Kelly says he got calls from his son’s military friend abroad
- Kelly says Obama didn’t call him personally, and “that’s not a criticism” or “a bad thing”
- Obama hosted Kelly at a breakfast for Gold Star families after his son died, the Associated Press reported, citing White House visitor logs
Here’s Kelly on whether Obama called his son:
Kelly says presidents don't call all Gold Star families: "Pres. Obama, who was my commander-in-chief, did not call my family" after son died pic.twitter.com/PBuPM5vPhS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 19, 2017
Kelly seemed to confirm Rep. Frederica Wilson’s account of the phone call, which by definition means Trump lied, but he went on to express his disgust with Wilson for “listening in on the phone call” (as though the family didn’t have any say in that):
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) October 19, 2017
And then – and I can’t even believe I’m saying this – Kelly launched into a critique of how nothing is sacred in America anymore including “women.”
He (clearly) referenced Harvey Weinstein (without actually saying his name) with not even a hint of the hypocrisy in saying that while working for a man who “grabs ’em by the pussy.”
Watch: Kelly laments how Gold Star families are no longer considered sacred after summer presidential conventions https://t.co/KgSckhbxKc
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) October 19, 2017
He even appeared to reference Trump’s ridiculous claim that there’s a “war on Christmas.”
This was a spectacle the likes of which it is difficult to fathom. Simply put: there is no way you’re going to convince us that John Kelly wanted to do this. This was an egregious display obviously orchestrated by Trump and there are no words for it, but you can believe the media is going to have an absolute field day picking it apart.
This will almost undoubtedly go down as one of the most epic boondoggles from this administration to date and just to be clear, this represents an American hero dragging his own good name through the mud on behalf of a President who he knows is a disgrace.
What say you, John Kelly from last month?…