A press conference that was designed to manipulate and deflect criticism of Trump’s disrespect for the troops immediately backfired on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
The daily briefing began with Kelly telling the moving story of how a soldier killed in combat comes home, but it quickly morphed into something much darker as Kelly described Trump as offering his condolences to the families in the best way that he could.
Things really got ugly when Kelly attacks Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) for listening in on Trump’s phone call with La David Johnson’s family:
Kelly on Pres. Trump's call to Gold Star widow: "It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation." pic.twitter.com/dMLv7vDcOg
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 19, 2017
Nowhere in Kelly’s press conference was there an apology to the families for any perception of disrespect. In fact, the families were not mentioned at all.
Just to drive the authoritarian propaganda home, Kelly took questions, but only from journalists who knew a Gold Star family.
Donald Trump golfed five times before he acknowledged the deaths of the four Green Berets in Niger. The performance at the daily press briefing by Kelly can’t excuse away Trump’s words, conduct, and lack of concern.
There was no apology from the White House about Trump using the deaths of soldiers as political tools.
The press conference was an ugly spectacle that demonstrated just how low those who work in this White House are willing to go.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association