White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has already defended Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, and he did it again during a press conference Thursday, ripping Rep. Frederica Wilson in the process.
Kelly explained to the media exactly what happens after a U.S. service member dies in combat, including the protocol for calling family members. “There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” he said. “When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was to not do it, because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to.”
He also said that he advised Trump to tell soldier’s families “they knew what they were doing” when signing up for the military:
Kelly confirms that he advised Trump to say that “soldiers knew what they were doing” when they got into the military
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 19, 2017
As for Rep. Wilson’s unabashed politicizing of the phone call, Kelly said he was “stunned” by her behavior.
General Kelly: “I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and broken hearted when I saw what a member of Congress was doing”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 19, 2017
White House chief of staff John Kelly: “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation.” pic.twitter.com/UFuXTlRZUt
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 19, 2017
I have to agree with Kelly – Wilson’s willingness to use a Gold Star family’s heartache to her advantage is stunning and disgusting. It’s also completely hypocritical: Wilson has opposed measures that would benefit veterans and their families in the past, including a measure that would have given the families of four soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan in 2013 death and burial benefits. And lest you need reminding, Kelly’s son died while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
Kelly asks members of WH press if any of them are a gold star family. Zero hands go up.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) October 19, 2017
Again: I’m inclined to believe Kelly, a veteran who lost in son in combat, over a Florida congresswoman with a cowboy hat gimmick.
Do you think Rep. Frederica Wilson is acting completely out of line? Share your comments below!