President Donald Trump has a notoriously hard time getting people to actually stick by him. This week during a talk at Duke University, his now former chief of staff John Kelly discussed his time in the White House, offering mixed reviews — to say the least. He specifically broke with the president — both on his claims that undocumented immigrants pose a special criminal threat to the United States and that the country needs a full southern border wall to address that immigration.
Discussing the immigrants, Kelly offered simply:
‘They’re overwhelmingly not criminals. They’re people coming up here for economic purposes. I don’t blame them for that.’
In that light, Kelly further insisted that a wall from “sea to shining sea” would be a “waste of money.”
To say that his assertion contradicts what his now former boss routinely pushes would be an understatement. Trump has repeatedly dismissed migrant caravans fleeing violence in their home countries as an “attempted Invasion of Illegals” that is “bad and dangerous for our ENTIRE COUNTRY.”
In line with his rhetoric, he recently signed a national emergency declaration in an attempt to use subsequent executive power to redirect large amounts of already appropriated government funds towards constructing his long-sought border wall blocking off Mexico. Confronted with the facts available via his own administration indicating that there are no especially high crime rates associated with undocumented immigrants, Trump claimed there to be vast unreported criminal networks among the immigrants with no basis other than singling out people who aren’t white.
Kelly has at least somewhat countered the president on these points before, although while in his now former position in the White House he mostly stayed in line and is certainly a conservative overall.
Still, early last year, Kelly claimed during an appearance on Fox News that Trump’s stance on the border wall had “evolved” — which Trump exploded in rage over, completely rejecting Kelly’s attempt to make his boss’s stance line up more closely to the reality of the situation.
More recently, just days before he left the White House, the Los Angeles Times published remarks from the retired General in which he explicitly acknowledged that the border barriers making the most headway quite frankly are “not a wall.” Indicating perhaps just how low the president has dragged American political rhetoric as debate over his effort to block off Mexico has raged on, we’ve had to confront the fact that Trump has pointed to projects reinforcing already in-place steel slats and the like as the beginning of his grand and glorious wall — despite the fact that well, it’s not a wall.
Trump can’t even get basic definitions right, and we’re supposed to trust him to lead the United States why again?
Kelly — who again, is no Democrat! — said this week that his time in the administration was the “least enjoyable” job he ever had, and credited the time he did stick around to a sense of civic duty.
Knowing how closely the president monitors his public image, it would be in perfect Trump-ian form for him to take time off from his busy schedule of failed love-fests with foreign dictators and angrily tweeting about his opponents to whine about Kelly in some context.
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