WH stands by Kelly, repeats 'empty barrel' criticism of Wilson

Oct 24, 2017, 00:43
WH stands by Kelly, repeats 'empty barrel' criticism of Wilson

"That's fantastic. I'll have to tell my kids that I'm a rock star now". Ms. Wilson heard the call because it was on a speakerphone. The president made a phone call to a widow of a US service member who was recently killed in Africa. "As far as other representatives, I don't know, I mean you could ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"

Kelly took to the White House podium on Thursday to say that he was "stunned" by Wilson's decision to take to the press to criticize Trump for his call with a Gold Star widow, though he did not dispute Wilson's claim that Trump told the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, one of the four soldiers killed in an ambush Niger earlier this month, "he knew what he signed up for" during a condolence call.

Despite Mr Trump's boast that he calls all or almost all military families when they lose a loved one, relatives of at least a half dozen people who died in military service since he became President have said they never got a call from him about their loss. He first advised him against it, saying there is nothing anyone can say to ease what the family is going through, according to NBC News.

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The White House chief of staff said he was so upset by her criticism of Trump's call that he went to walk "among the finest men and women on Earth" in a 90-minute visit to nearby Arlington National Cemetery, among the graves of service members, including some who died under his command.

In assisting Trump, Kelly said he described what a casualty officer told him in the aftermath of his son's death. In response, Kelly told him what General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him when Robert Kelly was killed. He said to Kelly that his son "was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed", which is discussed in detail in a previous Inquisitr article. In defending Trump's comments to the widow of Sgt. Wilson took this private moment between the president and a soldier's widow and made it into something bad for political purposes, suggests the Fox & Friends group. Those are the only phone calls that really matter.

"If you want to go after General Kelly, that's up to you", Sanders told a reporter who pointed out the general mischaracterized a 2015 speech by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) during a press briefing Thursday.

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The Associated Press reached out to the families of all 43 people who have died in military service since Trump became president and he made contact with about half of them. Trump's final tweet on the subject is seen below.

In Maine, the brother of a Marine who was killed in the crash of an Osprey aircraft said the family got no call or letter from Trump. Wilson, who is a Democrat, chuckled when speaking to reporters and appeared very animated, by holding her hand up to her chest.

"Just to finish on the rest of your question of why the president felt the need to respond, it's because it should have ended yesterday after General Kelly's comments". Still, Trump this week used his calls as evidence of his support for the military, suggesting he did more to honor the families than his predecessors did. Frederica Wilson of Florida also listened in. "He was stunned she had taken that opportunity to make it about herself".

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The uproar over Trump and how presidents should or shouldn't try to console families of the fallen has rattled the White House and overshadowed the rest of Trump's agenda in recent days.

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