I happen to admire John Kelly greatly. The White House chief of staff is a man of tremendous honor who has served his country — our country — with distinction and valor.
The retired Marine Corps general has given too much. His son died on an Afghanistan battlefield, which hands him the title of Gold Star father. Gen. Kelly spoke with great eloquence today in talking about a phone call that Donald Trump made to the widow of a soldier who was killed in an ambush in Niger. He praised the president and expressed “shock” and “heartbreak” that a member of Congress would discuss publicly the content of that phone call.
I want to disagree with great respect to Gen. Kelly on a particular point, however. The president of the United States — Kelly’s boss — is the man who made this a public issue. It was Trump who stated that previous presidents didn’t generally call the loved ones who died in battle.
So, we can debate whether Rep. Frederica Wilson spoke out of turn. We can argue over the propriety of her to interject herself into this highly sensitive and emotional issue.
However, as is his habit, the president chose to make this an issue in the first place because of his own untrue statements regarding how his immediate predecessors performed the heart-wrenching task of serving as commander in chief.