John Kelly delivered a scathing rebuke of his onetime boss, former President Donald Trump, and corroborated several damning accounts alleging jarring disregard toward service members.
The former White House chief of staff confirmed to CNN a 2020 Atlantic story claiming Trump was bewildered by service members who died in war, during a 2017 Memorial Day stop at Arlington National Cemetery.
“I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Trump purportedly told Kelly at the time.
In another 2017 incident, Trump allegedly insisted that no wounded veterans get the spotlight in a large military parade he was attempting to have planned.
“Those are the heroes,” Kelly replied, according to his book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House.”
“In our society, there’s only one group of people who are more heroic than they are – and they are buried over in Arlington.”
“I don’t want them,” Trump allegedly shot back. “It doesn’t look good for me.”
That episode mirrored a similar account in the recent profile from The Atlantic recounting Trump’s anger at having a wounded Army Captain sing for the chairman.
Kelly also confirmed a 2018 anecdote alleging Trump was sour about visiting the graves of soldiers at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France.
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump allegedly said.
Kelly, a retired Marine Corps General who lost his then-29-year-old son to a land mine in Afghanistan back in 2010, admonished Trump’s behavior.
“What can I add that has not already been said?” Kelly told CNN. “A person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.”
Kelly was Trump’s longest-serving chief of staff, a role he publicly described as the “hardest job I’ve ever had.”
Kelly further tore into Trump for being untruthful to the public.
“A person who is not truthful regarding his position on the protection of unborn life, on women, on minorities, on evangelical Christians, on Jews, on working men and women,” Kelly said in a statement.
Read the full story here.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.