Trump’s beloved border wall proposal gets blown up by General Kelly as he delivers his final F-U to Trump in a fiery interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Samuel Warde is the editor-in-chief of Liberals Unite (recently re-branded as The Art of Living) as well as a contributor to Mindy Fischer, Writer. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. You can view a list of his articles here.
To say “there has been no love lost” between Trump and his departing Chief of Staff General John F. Kelly might be the understatement of the year.
We are all familiar with images of Kelly ill-concealing his contempt such as his response to Trump’s speech in the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 15, 2017
Then there was the April 2018 report by NBC News that Kelly had called Trump “an idiot” on multiple occasions while “casting himself as the savior of the country, according to eight current and former White House officials.”
The list goes on an on…
Fast-forwarding to today, The Los Angeles Times published an article this morning discussing a Friday interview they conducted with Trump’s outgoing Chief of Staff John F. Kelly that was full of F-U’s.
For instance, during the course of that interview, the topic of Trump’s beloved Wall arose prompting Kelly to concede that Trump no longer wants to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“To be honest, it’s not a wall,” Kelly told The Los Angeles Times, adding: “The president still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it.”
Wow! Just wow…
Kelly went on to note that he had spoken with Customs and Border Protection Agents who told him that they really didn’t want a wall, that although a wall was necessary in some place, what they really needed was more manpower and improved technology.
As per The Los Angeles Times:
When Kelly led Homeland Security in early 2017, one of his first steps was to seek advice from those who “actually secure the border,” Customs and Border Protection agents who Kelly calls “salt-of-the-earth, Joe-Six-Pack folks.”
“They said, ‘Well we need a physical barrier in certain places, we need technology across the board, and we need more people,’” he said.
Asked if Trump had “drummed up fears” regarding immigrants and the need for a wall for political reasons, Kelly refused to answer directly, but did tell The Los Angeles Times that: “We do have an immigration problem.”
However, later in the interview his remarks appeared to directly conflict with Trump’s immigration and border security position.
“Illegal immigrants, overwhelmingly, are not bad people,” Kelly told The Los Angeles Times, later adding that he puts blame on both sides of the border.
“If you want to stop illegal immigration, stop U.S. demand for drugs, and expand economic opportunity” in Central America, he said.
Kelly faulted the administration for failing to follow procedure and failing to anticipate the public outrage for the two most controversial initiatives of his tenure: Trump’s travel ban in January 2017, and the “zero tolerance” immigration policy and family separations this year.
The interview concluded with The Los Angeles Times asking Kelly about the term of his tenure in the Trump administration:
Asked why he stayed 18 months in the White House, despite policy differences, personality clashes, the punishing schedule, and a likely lasting association with some of Trump’s controversies, he said simply: duty.
“Military people,” he said, “don’t walk away.”