America, we have just witnessed something truly disgusting. General John Kelly, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, whose son’s death Donald Trump politicized this week when he doubled down on his bullshit lie that Presidents Obama and Bush never called families of fallen troops, walked up to the podium in the White House briefing room and threw himself on Donald Fucking Trump’s sword, essentially taking all responsibility for the giant fuck-up that happened when the child president called the families of troops killed in Niger. In so doing, he stabbed his own credibility to death.
Here’s video. Kelly starts about 35 minutes in.
It started nicely enough. Kelly told the reporters what actually happens when a soldier dies — what happens to the body, how it’s transported, the protocol for notifying the family. Here’s a transcript of that:
Kelly then said he recommended Donald Trump not call families of the fallen. (And he obviously shouldn’t.) He said he told Trump that Barack Obama didn’t call his family when his son died, but that he didn’t mean it as a criticism, just stating a fact that not all presidents call all families every time a soldier dies. Trump, of course, decided to politicize the issue, by using that information to shit on Barack Obama at a press conference.
Kelly said he coached Donald Trump on what to say, and he made sure to emphasize that HE told Trump to tell Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, that her husband “knew what he was signing up for.” Some transcript:
He called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way he could. And he said to me, “What do I say?” […] Let me tell you what I tell them. […] “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining [the military]. He knew what the possibilities were, because we’re at war. And when he died … he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends.” That’s what the president tried to say to … the four families the other day.
Well hell, it sounds better when John Kelly says it, but that doesn’t change the fact that Trump obviously delivered those words to Myeshia Johnson without feeling or compassion. Indeed, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said it came across as “almost like joking.”
THEN Kelly put on his best Donald Trump Rage Twitter face and attacked Frederica Wilson. Oh holy shit, this is fucked up:
I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and broken-hearted, at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife. […] He knew what he was getting into, because he enlisted. […] That was the message … that was transmitted.
It STUNS me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought AT LEAST that was sacred.
FAKE NEWS, John Kelly, but Congresswoman Wilson had mentored Sgt. Johnson for YEARS and it was the family that put the phone on speaker. THEY WERE RIDING IN THE CAR TOGETHER TO RECEIVE HIS BODY.
It gets worse.
Kelly then lamented all the things that aren’t sacred anymore, apparently because Rep. Frederica Wilson “politicized” the issue by saying the president had hurt this family.
When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases.
OH LIKE MAYBE THE CASE OF DONALD “GRAB THEM BY THE PUSSY” TRUMP, YOUR FUCKING BOSS? IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, GENERAL?
Gold Star families, I think [the sacredness of those families] left at the convention over the summer.
Which convention, John Kelly? Was it when at the Democratic Convention, a Gold Star family that happens to be Muslim spoke out against DONALD “MUSLIM BAN” TRUMP and asked if their son, who gave his life for this country, would even be welcome in Donald Trump’s America? And then Donald Fucking Trump proceeded to ATTACK THAT FAMILY FOR DAYS ON END, because their comments got under his pussy thin skin? Was it Khizr and Ghazala Khan who took away the “sacredness” of Gold Star families, or was it YOUR FUCKING BOSS, GENERAL?
Kelly said when he heard what Congresswoman Wilson was saying on TV, he was so upset he had to go to Arlington National Cemetery to collect his thoughts, because this is all her fault, and not Donald Trump’s fault. Indeed, Kelly said the sacredness of our troops dying in war “eroded a great deal yesterday” because of the “selfish behavior of a member of Congress.”
Never mind that the family straight-up confirmed that Donald Trump had disrespected them and hurt them, just as the congresswoman said. Never mind that Donald Trump was the one who took a giant shit all over those families, by lying and saying Barack Obama and other presidents weren’t near as tremendously wonderful to the families of the fallen as he is. Never mind that Donald Trump spent a month of his presidential campaign shitting on another Gold Star family.
At the end, Kelly only took questions from journalists who had met a Gold Star family before, because that’s how a free press works.
Go fuck yourself, John Kelly. We still respect your service and the sacrifice your family made, but our respect for you as a human just took a nosedive.
And that makes us very sad.
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