Tags: general kelly | myeshia | frederica wilson

Gen. Kelly On Message in Trump Flap

Image: Gen. Kelly On Message in Trump Flap

Friday, 20 Oct 2017 11:46 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Gen. John Kelly’s surprise, 20-minute appearance before the White House press on Thursday, generated tremendous buzz throughout the media.

From his emotional discussion of the death of his own son in Afghanistan, to his rebuttal to the charge the president was insensitive in his call to Myeshia Johnson (grieving widow of slain Sgt. LaDavid Johnson), to his hard-hitting reaction to Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson listening to the presidential call, White House Chief of Staff Kelly clearly held his audience of reporters (and millions watching on television) spellbound.

So, Newsmax put the question to presidential historians: Did Kelly rescue Donald Trump from the furor that began Monday with the president’s remarks about his calls to Gold Star families (survivors of slain American military personnel) and those of his predecessors?

“If I were [Rep.] Wilson, I’d be in hiding,” Irwin Gellman, author of two critically-acclaimed volumes on Richard Nixon, told me. “Gen. Kelly was very convincing, and I think if someone tries to respond to him, people will say Why are you picking this as an issue to argue about?”

Gellman added that Kelly “clearly established himself as the ‘assistant president’— a strong, take-charge chief of staff.”

Chris Whipple, author of “The Gatekeepers,” a new book on 17 modern White House chiefs of staff, said, “There’s no question Gen. Kelly was highly effective, and very believable. I think everyone felt he spoke sincerely when he said he went to Arlington Cemetery to walk around alone.” But Whipple pointed out that Kelly was “more ideologically driven” in his comments and “that is not what a good chief of staff is. People who knew Dick Cheney when he was President Ford’s chief of staff said he was to the right of Genghis Khan. But he kept his views to himself and was always building bridges to the opposition.”

Kelly, Whipple said, “Is not doing that. He did put that controversy over the phone conversation [with Mrs. Johnson] to rest. In every other way, he was an emotional partisan. And that’s not what a great chief of staff is.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Did Gen. John Kelly rescue Donald Trump from the furor that began Monday?
general kelly, myeshia, frederica wilson
Friday, 20 Oct 2017 11:46 AM
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