WASHINGTON – John F. Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, delivered an emotional, personal defense of President Trump's call to the widow of a slain soldier, describing the trauma of learning about his death in Afghanistan and calling the criticism of Mr. Trump's call unfair
Kelly said that he was stunned to see the criticism, which came from a Democratic congresswoman, representing Frederica S. Wilson of Florida, after Mr. Trump delivered a similar message to the widow of the soldiers killed in Niger.
In a remarkable, somber appearance in the White House briefing, Mr. Kelly, has retired Marine
"He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed," Mr. Kelly recalled. "He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent.
"I was stunned when I came to work yesterday, and brokenhearted, when I saw what a member of Congress was doing," he said. "What she was saying, what she was doing on TV. The only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go among the men of the earth. "
Kelly, who had a long history of loss, had a very public profile, broke that silence in dramatic fashion on Thursday.
The appearance came after Mr. Trump and the White House were consumed by criticism Mr. Trump is a member of the Sgt. Committee of the United States of America. The David T. Johnson
Mr. Kelly defended Mr. Trump by offering a detailed, even excruciating description of what happens to those killed in combat, including how to restore it to the United States.
"The casualty officer proceeds to the end of the day,
Mr. Trump had his family members directly, and he told them that they would not be able to help them.
"That was not a criticism, that was simply to say I do not believe President Obama called," Mr. Kelly said, adding that President George W. Bush and other presidents did not always make personal phone calls to family members. He said Lieutenant Kelly's friends in Afghanistan called him in the hours after his son died.
"Those were the only phone calls that really matter," Mr. Kelly said. "Yeah, the letters count to a degree.
The controversy over Mr. Trump's remarks began with the formation of the family.
Mr. Kelly said that Mr. Trump did not intend to be a criticism of his predecessor, but rather was repeating what Mr. Kelly had before him on the impromptu news conference on Monday in the Rose Garden.
Mr. Kelly expressed frustration and even anger at the fact that the conversation between Mr. Trump and Sergeant Johnson's widow was exposed to the world by Ms. Wilson, a friend of the family, .
"I thought at least that was sacred," Mr. Kelly said, expressing dismay at other aspects of society that were no longer sacred, including women, and star families. Ms.
Mr Wilson had publicized her criticism of Mr. Trump's call, saying that the president had told him that Mr. Trump's words were "Mr. Trump's words." . Kelly said that Mr. Trump had tried, in the call, to express what Mr. Kelly had talked to him about ahead of time – that people who loved, and what they killed serving the country
"That's what the president tried to say to four families," Mr. Kelly said.
"Some of them," he said, "I got there because they have been there for a while. (19459002) Let's block ads! (Why?)
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