Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly is leaving the White House as President Trump’s chief of staff, the president told reporters on Saturday.
A Gold Star father, Kelly became chief of staff in July 2017 after initially serving as Trump’s Homeland Security Department secretary. The president reportedly brought Kelly in to bring order to the West Wing following the ineffective leadership of his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
The circumstances surrounding Kelly’s departure were not immediately clear. The president made a brief announcement to reporters before leaving for Saturday’s Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia.
“John Kelly will be leaving – I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring,’” Trump said, according to a White House press pool report. “But, he’s a great guy. John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place. I’ll be announcing that over the next day or two. But, John will be leaving at the end of the year. He’s been with me almost two years now.”
Media reports have indicated the working relationship between Trump and Kelly has been strained in the best of times. Kelly has been photographed wincing or putting his head in his hands as Trump lambasted NATO allies or made other unscripted remarks. Kelly has denied being visibly upset as Trump spoke.
In October 2017, Kelly was one of the president’s strongest defenders after Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat from Florida, accused Trump of insensitivity during a phone call with the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed alongside three of his fellow soldiers in Niger earlier that month.
“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation,” said Kelly, whose son 1st Lt. Robert Kelly was killed in Afghanistan in November 2010. “I thought at least that was sacred.”
“He said: ‘Kell, he 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, because we’re at war. When he died – and the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan – when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends.’”
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."