(New York Post) White House chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday gave a powerful defense of President Trump’s handling of a call to the widow of a soldier who was killed in Niger — and ripped a Florida lawmaker for politicizing the issue.
“There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” he said in his first public comments on the controversy over the call, which slain Sgt. La David Johnson’s mother and a Florida lawmaker who knew him called disrespectful.“If you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call, but I think he very bravely does make those calls.”
Kelly, who lost his Marine lieutenant son in Afghanistan, said he advised Trump not to make the calls because it was so difficult to deliver such a tragic message.
But the president, he said, insisted that he thought it was the right thing to do.
”He said to me, ‘What do I say?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families,’” he said.
He then said a military friend had told him how he handled the calls, and he shared the advice with the president.
The friend, he said, would tell loved ones that the deceased “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.”
That phrasing is similar to what Johnson’s family said Trump told them, that the sergeant “knew what he signed up for.”
Kelly also blasted Democratic Rep. Frederica S. Wilson for listening in and politicizing the call that Trump had made.
Read the full story here: Kelly defends Trump’s call to Gold Star widow – NY Post