White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s powerful words at a press conference are going down in recent history as about the most profound expression of frustration and disappointment aimed at the American political scene ever uttered during these politically correct times.
When he talked about his son’s death in Afghanistan and then referenced President Trump’s phone call to the parents of a fallen warrior, the passion, power and truth in what he said stopped official Washington in its tracks. His words were stunning, delivered without affect, and heard around the nation. He wasn’t just defending his boss, the president. He was lashing out at Representative Frederica S. Wilson whose false representation of what President Trump said during a phone call to the grieving parents, which she overheard, caused former General Kelly to rethink everything his life has been about. That call is what all this is passion is about.
His remarks pointed directly to this: that honor doesn’t mean as much anymore, that sacrifice is not really understood by those who don’t serve and that the likes of Congresswoman Wilson did a disservice to the nation and to herself. His remarks were described in the New York Times as part emotional catharsis and part political attack.
His words are unequivocally about the best to come out of the month of anyone connected with the administration and are made abundantly more important because of the riveting and emotional manner in which they were delivered.
What he said trumped how he said it — but together — his words constituted a condemnation of everything fake about our society as well as cause those who were listening to wonder at how much we have lost as a nation during this era when everything about our society has been turned upside down.
Kelly castigated Wilson for publicizing the call between Mr. Trump and Myeshia Johnson, whose husband, Sgt. La David T. Johnson, was one of four American soldiers killed in an October 4 ambush in Niger.
Mr. Kelly accused Ms. Wilson — who was in a car with Ms. Johnson when Mr. Trump called and is a longtime family friend — of being a publicity-seeking opportunist. He said that the congresswoman’s willingness to breach the confidentiality of Mr. Trump’s words is evidence of a broader decline in the values “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation — absolutely stuns me,” Mr. Kelly said during a somber, 18-minute appearance in the White House briefing room. He said that he was so upset by Ms. Wilson’s appearances on TV news shows that he had to collect his thoughts by walking through the graves at Arlington National Cemetery for more than an hour.of an American society that no longer treats women, religion, “life” or Gold Star families as sacred.
Mr. Kelly struck a tone that was more even, if just as powerful. He displayed scorn for a society that he said does not appreciate the sacrifice of those in the military. “Most of you as Americans don’t know them,” he said, bemoaning that “there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate but required.” Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, said Mr. Kelly’s blunt remarks will have impact because of the stark contrast with an administration that has repeatedly lost credibility with the public. Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, said Mr. Kelly’s blunt remarks will have impact because of the stark contrast with an administration that has repeatedly lost credibility with the public.
Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, said Mr. Kelly’s blunt remarks will have impact because of the stark contrast with an administration that has repeatedly lost credibility with the public.
“Its great power was you knew he was telling the truth, and in all specifics,” said Ms. Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist. “Kelly comes to the podium and it was credible, and you felt a kind of relief, and respect and gratitude.”
“When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country,” Mr. Kelly said. “Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life, the dignity of life, is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well. Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer.”