Friday, February 14, 2020

Trump vs... John Kelly (Again)


Trump is getting ready for a mud-slinging fest-- this one against Marine General John Kelly, his former chief of staff. On Wednesday, Kelly spoke at Drew University in Morristown, NJ, 23 minutes down the 287 to Trump's dumpy Bedminster Golf Resort. According to Peter Nicholas, reporting for The Atlantic, "Over a 75-minute speech and Q&A session, Kelly laid out, in the clearest terms yet, his misgivings about Trump’s words and actions regarding North Korea, illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, and the news media." Trump, a petty, thin-skinned tyrant, immediately tweeted some bullshit, also claiming he fired Kelly, even though people are aware that Kelly quit.

Throughout the appearance, Kelly laid out his doubts about Trump’s policies. Trump has held two formal summits with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, hoping to scuttle the country’s nuclear program through personal diplomacy. Kelly said the effort was futile.

“He will never give his nuclear weapons up,” Kelly said. “Again, President Trump tried-- that’s one way to put it. But it didn’t work. I’m an optimist most of the time, but I’m also a realist, and I never did think Kim would do anything other than play us for a while, and he did that fairly effectively.”

Kelly didn’t know Trump when, after the 2016 election, he was first offered the job of secretary of homeland security. Watching the contest between Trump and the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, Kelly said he had been “fascinated-- not necessarily in a good way-- but fascinated as to what that election meant to our country.”

He said his wife urged him to accept the position, telling him, “I frankly think he needs you and people like you.” Kelly ran the Department of Homeland Security until the summer of 2017, when Trump tapped him to replace outgoing Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Kelly left the White House early last year.

At times Wednesday, Kelly sounded like the anti-Trump. He said he did not believe the press is “the enemy of the people,” for example. And he sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has steadfastly courted. Kelly described Putin as someone who is “not necessarily a rational actor.” Putin sits atop “a society in collapse,” yet is intent on restoring “the glory days of the Soviet Union,” he said.

At DHS, Kelly was responsible for advancing two of Trump’s top priorities: stopping the flow of illegal immigration, and building a border wall to make unauthorized crossings more difficult. In the speech, he said he disagreed with Trump about the scope of the problem. Trump’s border wall doesn’t need to extend “from sea to shining sea,” Kelly said. He also disapproved of the president’s language about migrants, he said. When Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, he famously described some migrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico as “rapists” and criminals.

Kelly said most migrants are merely looking for jobs. “In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people … They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way. I disagreed with the president a number of times.”

Responding to questions from the audience, Kelly faulted Trump for intervening in the case of Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was convicted last year of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter. Trump reversed a Navy decision to oust Gallagher, in a chain of events that led to the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.

“The idea that the commander in chief intervened there, in my opinion, was exactly the wrong thing to do,” Kelly said. “Had I been there, I think I could have prevented it.”

The audience applauded.

When a woman in the crowd said that Trump had  “elevated” Gallagher, Kelly looked out at the crowd.

“Yep,” he said.
The Morristown Daily Record had a reporter at the event, William Westhoven, and he explained that the topic was "Governance Versus Politics" and that, after repeated questions from the audience he said "I'm disappointed in myself for leaving, but it was a killer, I mean, no joke." Westhoven, who also reported that Kelly told his audience that Kim Jong un was "playing" Trump... "fairly effectively," noted that "You have to be careful about what you are watching and reading, because the media has taken sides. So if you only watch Fox News because it’s reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen."



At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we elevate another trump-basher because we all loathe trump, let us never forget that Kelly is, himself, a despicable human being and a contributor to American evils overseas.

His admission that his job started with immigrant interdiction is an admission to his own guilt in the kidnapping, separating, caging and occasional murder of innocent immigrant children.

So we should add him to names like boot and frum, who are also guilty of adding to the depth and breadth of the current shithole.

This lesser-evil horse shit allows you to lionize real true assholes... you know that? We have elevated that crap to an art form in this shithole.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump should read up on Caligula. He ran out of friends, and look at what they did to him!

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Kelly is trying to rehabilitate his image after being a Trump henchman. I remember him being caught in a blatant lie about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, doubling down on the lie even after it was disproven, then saying he would never apologize for it. He was the guy who helped give us the vile Kirstjen Nielsen as Director of Homeland Security to oversee locking children up in cages. His legacy will be as a Trump enabler and he can go fuck himself as far as I'm concerned.

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously regret that as a Taxpayer First Class my sweat-stained withholding helped to pay to educate this monster and raise him to a level where waging war against the people who expected him to honor his oath as an officer doesn't even rate a second thought. Probably not even a first thought.

Kelly personifies my concerns regarding the actual loyalties of the officer corps. I await evidence of this, fearing that they have become Trump's Praetorian Guard and will in time act as the real power behind the throne.


Post a Comment

<< Home