Tags: Trump Administration | frederica wilson | john kelly | condolence call | president

Dem Rep. Wilson: Kelly 'Will Say Anything' to 'Keep His Job'


By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2017 05:17 PM

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., lashed out at chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday for criticizing her public discussion of President Donald Trump's call to a Gold Star wife — charging the former general, whose own soldier-son died in Afghanistan, "will say anything" to keep his job.

Wilson ripped Trump on Tuesday for what she characterized as an insensitive call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson — one of four soldiers ambushed by an ISIS affiliate in Niger — in which Trump said the young father and husband knew what he signed up for.

Kelly responded earlier Thursday he was "stunned" and "heartbroken" by Wilson's decision to reveal the private call, saying he thought the conversation was "sacred" — and he heard those same words when an official told him about his son's death.

Wilson was unmoved.

"John Kelly's trying to keep his job," she told Politico reporter Marc Caputo on Thursday. "He will say anything. There were other people who heard what I heard."

"Literally got this quote after a hearing, chaired by Wilson, into nursing home deaths," Caputo tweeted. "I handed her my phone with the story [of Kelly’s criticism of Wilson for divulging details of the president’s call] and this was her comment before getting into a car."

According to Politico, Kelly said Trump had asked him what he should say to family members, so he quoted to the president what his casualty officer said to him when his own son was killed: "He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. 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 is what the president tried to say to the four families the other day," Kelly said. "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."

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Unmoved by White House chief of staff John Kelly's first-hand experience of military condolence calls, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., rebuked Kelly's criticism of her, saying Gen. Kelly "will say anything" to keep his job.
frederica wilson, john kelly, condolence call, president
Thursday, 19 October 2017 05:17 PM
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