Tag Archives: John Kelly

Is this the deal breaker?

I once thought Donald Trump’s denigrating John McCain’s service during the Vietnam War would have ended his political career.

Or the time he ridiculed a Gold Star couple whose son, an Army officer, died in Iraq.

How about when Trump mimicked a severely handicapped New York Times reporter?

The coward survived all those missteps. He got elected president.

Now he reportedly has disparaged men and women who have been injured in combat. He calls them “suckers” and “losers.” He supposedly didn’t attend a ceremony at a storied World War I battlefield because the rainfall would mess up his hair. Trump reportedly stood at the grave of a young Marine who died in Afghanistan and said in the presence of the Marine’s father, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, that there was “nothing in it for him.”

Does any of this signal the end of Donald Trump’s hideous tenure as commander in chief?

Oh, I do hope that is the case.

The commander in chief is supposed to revere the men and women he commands. This guy doesn’t. The commander in chief by definition honors their service. Not this one. The commander in chief traditionally speaks of the immense pride of leading the world’s greatest military. Not this guy.

Donald Trump must lose the upcoming presidential election.

Bolton joins line of national security advisers in trashing POTUS

James Mattis pounded Donald Trump, saying he is intentionally seeking to divide the nation.

John Kelly said the nation needs to do a better job of assessing the character and competence of those who seek elective public office.

John Bolton says Donald Trump is unfit for public office and says he endangers our national security by looking first at his re-election chances and how any decision affects them.

Mattis and Kelly are former Marine Corps generals; Mattis served as defense secretary and Kelly served as homeland security secretary and then White House chief of staff. Bolton is a former U.N. ambassador and a longstanding conservative foreign policy hawk.

These are just the latest in a long line of national security officials who once worked for Trump. What do they have in common? They are trashing a sitting U.S. president. They are telling us that Donald Trump is dangerous, uninformed, unwilling to become informed.

Let’s not forget, too, that Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state, once called Trump a “fu**ing moron.”

As I look at a reasonably big picture, I see an executive government branch in a state of absolute chaos and pandemonium. This is all a function of a president who now wants to win a second term. My goodness! There can be no way in the world we should allow this to continue.

And I can say that even while setting aside that the Nitwit in Chief has committed at least two impeachable offenses and should have been convicted in that Senate trial that acquitted him.

God help us if this clown wins the upcoming election!

POTUS’s incessant feud with brass shows his own ignorance

Donald Trump’s current feud with former White House chief of staff John Kelly only underscores what most of us have known all along.

The president keeps saying how much he respects the military but keeps demonstrating at every possible turn how he manages to disrespect those who make command decisions.

Kelly is a retired Marine Corps four-star general. He ran the Department of Homeland Security before he moved to the White House post. He didn’t last long before Trump fired him. Now he’s going after Gen. Kelly for speaking up on behalf of an Army lieutenant colonel who acted as he was trained to do when he heard something he perceived to be illegal; in Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s case, he heard the president ask a foreign government leader for a personal political favor.

A year ago, Trump fired off an angry tweet criticizing another highly decorated officer, retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal. He said McChrystal had a “big dumb mouth.” He had criticized Trump’s sudden decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan, ,which is still in the midst of a war with the Taliban and other terrorists.

Trump has disparaged other premier military men, such as former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who happens to be an Army lieutenant general and a noted military scholar.

Let us remember what he declared during the 2016 presidential campaign that he knows “more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” He doesn’t know more. He doesn’t anything about the Islamic State, or al-Qaeda.

And speaking of al-Qaeda, how can one forget when he said that the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden should have occurred before it did. He then launched a brief feud with retired Admiral William McRaven, the former head of the Special Operations Command and under whose watch the SEALs along with CIA commandos took out the al-Qaeda leader.

What is most galling about all of this, of course, is the manner in which Trump avoided military service during the Vietnam War. He managed to find a family doctor who signed off on something called “bone spurs,” enabling young Donald to obtain a medical deferment that kept him out of uniform.

Yes, all of that rubs many of us who did serve in that war the wrong way. It also rubs many of us raw the way he continues to disparage brilliant and courageous military officers who saw fit to thrust themselves into harm’s way while the commander in chief chose to stay far away.


Kelly vs. Trump: Who’s more trustworthy?

Donald John Trump is engaging in a verbal skirmish with another of his top former advisers.

The foe this time is a decorated combat veteran, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, a Gold Star parent whose son was killed in Afghanistan, a gentleman who served as White House chief of staff: John Kelly.

Gen. Kelly has come to the defense of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whom Trump fired after he testified to the House about concerns he had over the phone call Trump made to the Ukraine president. This was the call in which Trump asked Ukraine for a political favor. Vindman said the nature of the conversation worried him.

Kelly said Vindman was following military protocol when he reported his concern to his superior officers.

Kelly, in an article in Atlantic, had questioned the president’s decisions relating to North Korea and has challenged Trump’s description of immigrants as murderers and rapists.

Trump’s response has been to say that Kelly can’t keep his mouth shut.

Hmm. Who am I to believe? An honorable Marine who spent his adult life serving the public and defending this nation against its enemies? Or do I believe an admitted philanderer, a man who couldn’t tell the truth under any circumstances, and someone who spent his entire adult life seeking to enrich himself, quite often at others’ expense?

I believe I will stand with the general on this one.

Go ahead, Mr. POTUS, run the White House all by yourself!

A reader of this blog has offered a fascinating response to a blog post I published that was critical of Donald Trump leaving acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney out of the loop regarding the planning for the raid that killed Islamic State founder Abu Makr al-Baghdadi.

He wrote: And yet the raid was an astounding success. Baghdadi was killed and none of the good guys were injured. So does he really?

Hey, he might have a point? I say “might” because we don’t know without seeing how the president would be able to manage the White House all by himself.

Mulvaney likely is on his final lap as the acting chief of staff. So here’s my thought: Mr. President, go ahead and leave the chief of staff job vacant after you give Mulvaney the boot. You ought to run the place all by yourself, just as you more or less said you might do when you accepted the Republican presidential nomination in the summer of 2016.

Trump declared that “I, alone” can solve the nation’s myriad problems. He has burned through three chiefs of staff in less than a single term as president. Reince Priebus couldn’t cut it; John Kelly tried to manage the place, but gave up; now it’s Mulvaney serving in this “acting” capacity.

Trump doesn’t entrust his chiefs of staff with any real authority. So, he ought to just take the reins himself. He alone should run the complex White House operation. He alone should make the key personnel decisions. He alone should be able to communicate with key legislative leaders in Congress.

The White House has an interminable number of moving parts. Trump has boasted of his remarkable business acumen. He runs this business empire but, of course, doesn’t acknowledge the multiple failures he has suffered over the span of many years.

Aww, but what the heck. That was then. The here and now puts the president in charge of the executive branch of the federal government.

Let’s see how he manages the White House and let’s see if he, alone, can stem the chaos that has overrun the place.

WH press secretaries: from bad to worse to utterly abysmal

I never thought I would see the day when a White House press secretary could make Sean Spicer look good.

Consider this:

Spicer was the first White House press flack hired by Donald Trump. Spicer “distinguished” himself at his first press briefing by challenging media reports about the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd, contending that the president drew the largest such gathering in the nation’s history. It didn’t go well for Spicer after that. He resigned and now he’s on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders succeeded Spicer and became a shill for the serial liar who hired her. Sanders ended up suspending the White House press briefings altogether. She quit, too.

Now we have Stephanie Grisham, who this weekend said that former White House chief of staff John Kelly was — get ready for this one! — “totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.”

Wow, man!

The “genius” of Donald Trump? She’s saying the president is a “genius”? The guy who cannot spell his way out of a third-grade lunchroom? The individual who conducts presidential policy nearly exclusively via Twitter? The candidate who launches into nonsensical, irrational, incoherent tirades at campaign rallies? The guy who cannot string two sentences together?

I know next to nothing about Stephanie Grisham, other than she has yet to answer questions in a roomful of reporters assigned to cover the White House.

Her statement about John Kelly — the decorated combat veteran, the retired four-star Marine Corps general, the Gold Star dad whose son died in combat in Afghanistan — confirms to me that her bulb is as dim as the one burning inside the skull of the president.

John Kelly turns on Trump? Shocking! Just shocking!

John Kelly has served his country with honor, courage and distinction.

Now the former White House chief of staff is telling us that many of Donald J. Trump’s policies are wrong for the country.

The wall along our southern border? Kelly, the retired four-star Marine Corps general and combat veteran, says now that the wall is a non-starter. Donald Trump’s national emergency doesn’t exist along our southern border.

“Waste of money”

He said building a wall “from sea to shining sea” is a “waste of money.” Gee, do you think?

He said of all the jobs he has held, the chief of staff gig was the worst among them. Kelly also said that he wasn’t working for Trump but was seeking to serve the country.

Gen. Kelly also declared that had Hillary Rodham Clinton won the 2016 election he would have worked in her White House.

He kept quiet during his time as chief of staff. He also didn’t argue out loud over the wall issue when he served as homeland security secretary before moving into the chief of staff job.

That tells me he is a good Marine . . . always faithful, if you will.

He is now free to speak his mind and from his heart.

WH chief of staff gets a dose of Trump

Donald Trump selected Mick Mulvaney to be the acting White House chief of staff to succeed John Kelly, who resigned far ahead of his announced timetable.

Mulvaney, who runs the Office of Management and Budget in his real day job, said upon his hiring that he planned to “let Trump be Trump.” He had no intention, or so he implied, of reeling in the president while trying to prevent him from some of his more impulsive behavior.

Well, it’s being reported that Mulvaney got a serious dose of the real Donald Trump during a White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders. The group met ostensibly to find a way to reopen the government, which has been shut down partially for three weeks.

Trump reportedly dressed Mulvaney down in front of those congressional leaders, telling him to “Stop, stop, just stop. What are you doing? You’re f***ing it all up, MIck.”

There you go. That’s Trump being Trump, per the White House chief of staff’s stated desire. Is this what he really intended when he took the job on an “acting” basis? I think not.

Don’t misconstrue me here. I don’t feel sorry for Mulvaney. He’s a grownup who likely knew about the loony bin into which he was entering when he agreed to run the White House staff.

Still, what I find astounding is that the president of the United States would (allegedly) treat the chief of staff in that fashion in front of a roomful of politicians and other staffers. Then again, given the president’s lack of decorum or dignity at any level, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at all!

The White House chief of staff once was considered the plum of plum jobs in D.C. No longer. Not for as long as Donald Trump is president of the United States. He’s already burned through two chiefs of staff, Kelly and before him Reince Priebus. Kelly was brought in to bring a sense of order after Priebus was canned; indeed, Priebus couldn’t control the traffic in the Oval Office, just inflaming the chaos that dictates the flow within the White House.

Now we have Mulvaney perched in the White House hot seat. I’ve thought all along that an “acting” chief of staff cannot sustain himself over any length of time. I mean, Mulvaney already has a full-time gig at OMB, which is a huge job all by itself.

So now he gets pounded and pilloried by the president while the government remains shut down.

Great work if you can get it, right, Mick?

What a shocker! Kelly says Trump ‘not up to job’?

Imagine my total non-surprise!

Departing White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly told aides many times that Donald Trump “isn’t up to the job” of president of the United States.

Wow! Who would’ve thought that? Shocking, I tell ya! Simply shocking!

The New York Times is reporting that Kelly, who’s leaving the Trump administration later this week, called the chief of staff post the “worst job in the world.” That’s really saying something, given that the retired Marine Corps four-star general saw more than his share of combat defending this country.

I wanted Kelly to succeed when he took over from Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff; he had served previously as homeland security secretary. Trump canned Priebus and called Kelly over from DHS to rein in a White House staff that had spiraled out of control.

Kelly enjoyed some initial success. He got rid of Steve Bannon, the former Brietbart News exec who served as a senior policy guru. He canned Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as White House communications director.

But then . . .

Trump just couldn’t be corralled. Kelly couldn’t manage the president. He couldn’t persuade him to follow the normal rules of procedure.

There is far more than a hint of believability in what the New York Times is reporting. Perhaps that explains why Kelly, who reportedly pledged to stay until after the 2020 election, is departing early.

I only can add: The truth hurts, Mr. President.

New WH chief of staff seeks to preserve his own sanity

I am going to hand it to Mick Mulvaney, the new “acting” White House chief of staff.

Whereas John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, sought to bring a military-style discipline to the White House, Mulvaney isn’t even going to try that approach.

Politico reports that Mulvaney is going to let “Trump be Trump.”

There you go. Let Donald Trump run the White House the way he sees fit and hope against hope that it works out. Spoiler alert: It likely won’t.

However, Mulvaney — who once called Trump a “terrible human being” — will be able to maintain more than a semblance of his own sanity if he allows the president a relatively free rein in the West Wing of the White House.

Politico reports: Mulvaney will adopt a much larger role in politics and messaging, and plans to take a more laissez faire approach to some quirks of the Trump White House that irked Kelly — like non-essential staffers attending meetings, or the president frequently reaching out to longtime friends, Republican lawmakers and advisers for advice or dinners in the White House residence.

Is it a surprise, then, that Trump and Kelly have been barely speaking? Of course not.

I’m not sure what to make of the Mulvaney Doctrine in running the White House staff, except to believe that he’s basically going to cede day-to-day management to the Big Man himself.

I am wondering now whether Mulvaney is going to lobby the president for a permanent appointment in the White House. He now is ostensibly the head of the Office of Management and Budget. I presume he’ll hand OMB duties to someone else while he shows up for work in the White House.

Under normal circumstances, I would wish Mulvaney well as he embarks on a new challenge. These are far from normal times in the White House. The president is feeling the heat of multiple investigations bearing down on him. The White House staff reportedly is down in the dumps over the uncertainty and chaos.

I suppose the best I can hope for is that Mulvaney’s strategy at sanity preservation works for him.