Trump's Former Chief of Staff Finally Broke His Silence About His Time in the White House and He Just Eviscerated Donald Trump's Argument for His Wall

Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images

Since his departure from the White House in December, former Chief of Staff John Kelly has stayed out of the spotlight. That changed on Wednesday when the four-star general let loose about his experience working for President Donald Trump.

In an interview at Duke University, Kelly knocked his former post as the “the least enjoyable job” he ever had, though he conceded it was the most important.


Kelly said he would have accepted the position out of a sense of duty if Hillary Clinton had won the election and offered it to him.

Although Kelly opted to not answer questions surrounding Trump allegedly commanding his subordinates to approve a security clearance to his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, Kelly did not hesitate to eviscerate Trump's policies and hateful rhetoric toward immigrants.

“They’re overwhelmingly not criminals,” Kelly said, countering one of Trump's favorite dog-whistle tropes. “They’re people coming up here for economic purposes. I don’t blame them for that.”

Kelly then blasted Trump's proposed border wall, calling it a “waste of money."

Kelly continued:

“We don’t need a wall from sea to shining sea. As I said, the CPB - customs, border protection - people who are familiar with the border - they can tell you exactly what they want. If I told them 'I can get you 2,000 miles,' they'd say, 'that seems like an awful waste of money because they don't need it everywhere.'"

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Kelly was still serving as chief of staff when Trump shut down the government for a month over the border wall issue. That strategy backfired spectacularly, prompting Trump to embark on a last-ditch effort to fund his wall in a disjointed national emergency declaration last month.

Unfortunately for Kelly, redemption is not going to be as forthcoming as he may have hoped.

On Twitter, many are still upset with Kelly for launching false attacks against Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who in 2017 dared to criticize the president.

The legacy of Kelly's tenure is also forever stained by his defense of Rob Porter, a former staff secretary who quit amid allegations that he beat his ex-wife.

Lets we forget that Kelly played a pivotal role in implementing the Trump administration's family separation policy, which led to thousands of kids getting locked in cages and indefinitely segregated from their parents.

Oh yeah, one more thing - Kelly supported Trump's ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Anyway, on stage at Duke, Kelly blamed the policy on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"The big separation of families, that was a decision made by the Attorney General," Kelly said of the "zero tolerance" program.

“It kind of surprised us,” Kelly added. “It certainly caught DHS flat-footed, and HHS, Health and Human Services, flat-footed.”

Before becoming chief of staff, Kelly served as Homeland Security Secretary and reportedly considered green-lighting the ripping apart of immigrant families.

As the interview progressed, Kelly defended the strategic importance of NATO, which Trump has reportedly threatened to pull the United States out of on multiple occasions.

Kelly explained that the chief of staff's job is to tell the president “what he needs to hear," and joked that he advised his successor, Mick Mulvaney, to "run for it."

C-SPAN

If you think Fox News is the most loyal network to President Donald Trump, you likely haven't heard of One America News Network, or OAN.

The unabashedly pro-Trump network—largely considered a far-Right fringe outlet—has enjoyed expanded viewership over recent years thanks to glowing reviews from the President.

It's even been added to the prestigious White House press pool.

People were reminded of the network's bizarre Trump-era ascension during Monday's White House press briefing regarding the pandemic that—at the time of this writing—has resulted in over 3,000 deaths across the United States.

OAN's White House correspondent Chanel Rion compared the growing number of deaths from the pandemic to abortion procedures, asking Trump if abortions should be suspended all together.

The question flummoxed Trump himself.

Watch below.

Rion said:

"2,405 Americans have died from [the virus] in the last 60 days. Meanwhile, you have 2,369 children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day. That's 16 and a half thousand children killed every week. Two states have suspended elective abortion to make more resources available...Should more states be doing the same?"

Even Trump seemed confused by the question, and notably didn't wade into the abortion aspect of the question:

"I think what we're doing, we're trying to, as a group ,governors—and that's Republicans and Democrats—we're just working together to solve this problem. What you're mentioning has been going on for a long time and it's a sad event, a lot of sad events in this country. But what we're doing now is working on the virus...and I think we're doing a great job—as good a job as you can possibly do."

People noticed that even Trump—either purposely or otherwise—didn't take the bait from one of his favorite networks.




Rion, who is Asian-American, previously made headlines when she asked Trump—who'd been criticized for describing the virus as "Chinese Virus"—if the phrase "Chinese food" was racist.

Her questions, while satiating viewers who prioritize "owning the libs" over potentially lifesaving information, have only confirmed the degradation of the press corps under the Trump era.




OAN's only redeemable quality? It doesn't claim to be "fair and balanced."


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images // Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage

Even in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump hasn't dispensed with his typical pettiness.

The President made that perfectly clear on Sunday afternoon, as deaths caused by the national health crisis continued to increase.

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President Donald Trump held his pandemic press briefing in the Rose Garden on Sunday—but his mood was far from rosy.

One particularly heated exchange came when he took a question from PBS NewsHour's White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor asked Trump about the the skepticism he expressed that New York—the epicenter of the health crisis facing the United States—was exaggerating the number of lifesaving ventilators it needs to help curb the virus.

Trump interrupted Alcindor, claiming he "didn't say" that, then proceeded to berate her for her so-called "threatening" question.

Watch below.

Alcindor asked:

"You've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment governors are requesting, they don't actually need. You said New York might not need 30 thousand—"

Trump interrupted:

"I didn't say that. I didn't say that. Why don't you people...why don't you act in a little more positive? It's always trying to get me. Getcha, getcha. You know what, that's why nobody trusts the media anymore."

Though the President didn't reciprocate, Alcindor remained professional and repeated her question despite the President's attacks on her journalistic integrity in front of her colleagues.

What's more, Alcindor was right—and video proves it.

Alcindor referred to statements Trump made on far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

Watch below.

Trump said:

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40 thousand or 30 thousand ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they're saying, 'can we have 30 thousand ventilators?'"

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made clear that New York has yet to reach the height of the pandemic. The current number of ventilators is not enough to treat all of the infections to come, which could force doctors into rationing them and choosing not to treat patients with less optimistic prognoses.

Alcindor later pointed out that Trump did, in fact, express skepticism that New York was asking for ventilators they didn't need.

People called Trump out for responding to his own words with petty attacks.



They praised Alcindor for holding him accountable when so many others won't.




This was far from the first time Trump personally attacked Alcindor for doing her job.

Astonishingly, Trump denied his own words again in the same press conference when CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond asked Trump to elaborate on his Friday statements that governors aren't being "appreciative" enough of him and his administration.

If a President isn't beholden to congressional oversight, basic transparency, and even his own words, how can he be beholden to the American people?

For more stories of Trump's ineptitude from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.

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