There are a number of traditional officials who have left the White House. Yet, they have remained mysteriously mum, holding their knowledge of Donald J. Trump close to their chests. Finally, one of them has spoken out.
Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke to a group of students and their guests at Drew University. In a 75-minute speech and question-and-answer session, he laid it all out.
The retired Marine Corps general addressed illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, the press, and North Korea Wednesday night. Perhaps, it was Trump’s ill-treatment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother that motivated him to finally come forward and proclaim the soldier’s innocence.
The once-a-Marine-always-a-Marine was anti-Trump. As such, he went after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Trump has wooed the man Kelly described as “not necessarily a rational actor.” Kelly said that Putin sits atop “a society in collapse,” however, he has been trying to bring back “the glory days of the Soviet Union.”
He commented on Vindman, according to The Atlantic magazine:
‘He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave. He went and told his boss what he just heard.’
The former chief of staff added that Vindman should have caught the Ukraine problem, and he did. Other arms of the federal agencies needed to be aware:
‘Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against… the Russians. And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in.’
Then, Kelly explained how he felt about various Trump policies. He began with North Korea, and said Trump’s approach was useless:
‘He will never give his nuclear weapons up. 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 explained that when the president intervened in the case of a Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, it was so damaging that the Navy Secretary Richard Spencer resigned in protest. The SEAL had been photographed over a dead prisoner’s body, just like his son stood over a dead elephant’s body — big game hunters. Gallagher was convicted of war crimes and jailed.
Trump lifted the man out of jail, exonerated him, and reinstated his previous SEAL credentials. Now, the man goes along with the president to his rallies:
‘The idea that the commander in chief intervened there, in my opinion, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Had I been there, I think I could have prevented it.’
Kelly also contradicted Trump’s attack on migrants, and said instead that most of the migrants were just wanting a job:
‘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.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.