A former general who served with former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said the now-departed Trump aide was a consummate professional who committed unprofessional acts while in the White House.
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, speaking this morning on CNN, said he appreciated Kelly taking the thankless job serving President Donald Trump. He also said, however, that serving in the position of Trump’s top White House staff member changed Kelly, and not in a good way.
“Gen. Kelly commented on journalists in the White House briefing room,” Hertling said. “He dissed, in effect, a congresswoman regarding her stance on various issues and some of the other things he said to the president, something caught off mic when the president was giving a ceremonial savor, he said, you can use that on the press.”
“It’s unprofessional and goes against everything in the Constitution,” Hertling continued. “So I have problems with all of that now that he’s outside of the bubble of the White House.”
Last December, Kelly was on his way out the door and told people around him that Trump isn’t up to the job of being president, which created a stir in Washington and also caused bad feelings between the president and his former chief of staff.
Kelly in December also told The Los Angeles Times that the Trump administration no longer wants to build a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. “To be honest, it’s not a wall,” Kelly told the Times.
It was also reported around the same time that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had questioned Kelly specifically about Trump and obstruction of justice.
For the past year there had been reports that Trump was unhappy with Kelly, and that Kelly was burned out working for Trump, and wanted to quit.
Last fall many reports came out that Kelly may be asked to serve as a witness against Trump in upcoming criminal trials.
Even though in some ways Kelly was just another victim of Donald Trump, the truth is that he did not serve the American people very well when he was White House Chief of Staff. And General Hertling is absolutely correct: he did act in an unprofessional way during his tenure in the Trump administration.
History will not be kind to John Kelly, and we may be seeing more of him in the near future as he is called to give testimony that might help convict his former boss of several crimes, including obstruction of justice.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.