Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | dick durbin | john kelly | stabilize | white house | trump

Sen. Durbin: Kelly Can Stabilize WH, But Trump Must Help

Image: Sen. Durbin: Kelly Can Stabilize WH, But Trump Must Help
 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Aug 2017 03:19 PM

New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is in a position that will allow him to stabilize the White House, and that will be good for the United States, but President Donald Trump has to be involved in the shift, Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday.

Kelly, as a retired four-star Marine Corps general, will bring discipline, loyalty and respect to the White House, the Illinois Democrat told CNN's "New Day" program, and those are "qualities this White House hasn't displayed a lot of in the last few weeks."

Durbin pointed out that he voted to confirm Kelly for his former post as Homeland Security secretary and had wanted to work closely with him in that position, and in his new place in the White House as well.

The senator, meanwhile, responded to news reports that claimed Trump dictated a statement for his son, Donald Jr., to use while responding to the news that he'd agreed to a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya last June, saying the comments were misleading.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Trump did weigh in on the matter, after The Washington Post reported the president was involved in writing his son's statement.

"The statement that Don Jr. issued is true. There's no inaccuracy in the statement," Sanders said, reports CNN. She discounted reports that the statement contradicted what was revealed in the younger Trump's emails. "The president weighed in as any father would base on the limited information that he had. This is all discussion of no consequence."

Durbin said in the interview, given before Sanders' statement, that he does believe Trump is viewing the matter as a "family problem" and that it is not serious."

"It involves a foreign power trying to invade our election process," the senator said. "It involves the highest level of security when it comes to the United States' relationship with Russia, and it's the subject of a criminal investigation. I know he would never hire me as an attorney, but I can't imagine having the president as a client if he would do something this rash."

Durbin said he wouldn't go so far as to say Trump put himself in legal jeopardy through the actions, but he "can't believe any worthwhile prosecutor can ignore this."

"It was poor judgment on the president's part to inject into this conversation, about his son's meeting, facts which frankly had no basis," said Durbin.

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New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is in a position that will allow him to stabilize the White House, and that will be good for the United States, but President Donald Trump has to be involved in the shift, Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday.
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Tuesday, 01 Aug 2017 03:19 PM
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