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The White House says John Kelly was 'totally unequipped to handle the genius' of Trump in a totally real statement
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Is it just me or does this statement from the White House rebuking retired Marine Gen. John Kelly sound like a piece of North Korean propaganda?
Speaking at a Washington Examiner political conference on Friday, Kelly claimed that, before he left his position as White House chief of staff last year, he had warned President Donald Trump of the possibility of impeachment if he hired a "yes man" to replace him.
"I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,' someone who won't tell you the truth — don't do that," Kelly recalled. "Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached."
"That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving," he added. "It pains me to see what's going on because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place."
Kelly's comments are fairly unsurprising. Like his fellow Marine and self-appointed babysitter James Mattis, who's currently promoting a book to burnish his reputation as a voice of sanity within the Trump administration, Kelly's push to cast himself in the same light is somewhat predictable.
But what is surprising is the response that White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham offered to the New York Times: "I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president."
The "totally unequipped to handle the genius" on its own is amusing in the context of both Trump's fickle passion for His Generals and the president's frequent description of himself as "a very stable genius," sure.
But any humor in this outrageous statement dries up when the eye lands on "our great president."Not because Trump isn't a great president; after all, he did promise to Make America Great Again, right?
No, it's the weird hagiography from the White House press office reminiscent of the "glorious leader" tropes tossed around in North Korea. I mean, one of Kim Jong Un's official titles is "Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven." The similarity is hard to miss.
And while we'd certainly expect the commander-in-chief to speak without such civic modesty, the statement appears to be a major overcorrection by Trump's staff: the White House also issued a separate statement under Trump's name that's somehow more subdued than what his own press secretary offered.
"John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that," Trump said on Kelly's advice. "If he would have said that, I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does."
Well, maybe not: Back in May, Kelly joined the board of directors of Caliburn International, the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, whose own subsidiary operates the United States' largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children. So there's that I guess.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.
A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.
A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.
"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."