It’s hard to understand why all these departing officials feel the need to give interviews or write letters that are not helpful to an already-beleaguered President. It appears self-serving. It happened again with John Kelly. One thing is clear, Kelly’s views are closer to that of Democrats than the President’s. Some of what he is saying on his way out is not flattering to the President, but some are.
THE WALL THAT IS NOT TO BE
The outgoing chief of staff John Kelly told the LA Times in a two-hour phone interview that the President gave up on the idea of a solid concrete wall months ago. It could end up as concrete slats or fencing.
“To be honest, it’s not a wall,” he told the Los Angeles Times in a long interview defending his rocky tenure atop Trump’s White House.
“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,” he said.
Anonymous foreigners are pouring into the country and still, the Democrats will not secure our borders. They won’t even negotiate. They all went on vacation while the President works in the Oval Office.
Trump has refused to accept a bill that does not include at least $2.5 billion for the border wall – down from his original demand of $5 billion – but Democrats have said they will not go above $1.3 billion they have already offered. That amount banned barriers. Honestly, $5 billion was too puny a number.
The President has asked Democrats to make a counteroffer.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EXPANDING LIMITS OF PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY
Kelly also kept the President from pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan and told the LA Times that the value of his tenure in his role will be determined by what the President does after he leaves office.
The outgoing chief’s supporters say he persuaded Trump to not pull U.S. forces out of South Korea, or withdraw from NATO, as he had threatened.
Trump sometimes pressed his advisors on the limits of his authority under the law, often asking Kelly, “‘Why can’t we do it this way?’”
But Trump never ordered him to do anything illegal, Kelly stressed, “because we wouldn’t have.”
“If he had said to me, ‘Do it, or you’re fired,’” Kelly said he would have resigned.
He’s suggesting Trump didn’t order him because he knew Kelly wouldn’t do it over his adherence to the law.
KELLY BLAMES AMERICANS FOR THE DRUG PROBLEM
Kelly touted the Democrat line that the problem of drugs is Americans. While it is to a point, the flow of drugs could be severely restricted by border security.
“If you want to stop illegal immigration, stop U.S. demand for drugs, and expand economic opportunity” in Central America.
We have been giving billions to those countries and the money is given to untrustworthy leaders with no mechanism of accountability. It hasn’t worked so far. Also, how exactly does Kelly expect us to stop the demand on the U.S. side?
We need to do MUCH MORE to stop the enormous flow of drugs through our open borders. In the liberals’ bastions, drug addicts are allowed to buy, sell, and shoot up in public.
KELLY PUTS THE FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY SQUARELY ON THE SHOULDERS OF JEFF SESSIONS
Kelly blames the policy of family separations on Jeff Sessions and staunchly defends Secretary Nielsen.
Kelly said Sessions’ announcement caught the White House by surprise.
“What happened was Jeff Sessions, he was the one that instituted the zero-tolerance process on the border that resulted in both people being detained and the family separation,” Kelly said. “He surprised us.”
The chaotic implementation then fell primarily on the Department of Health and Human Services and Nielsen, who came under fire for standing on the White House podium and saying there was no policy of separating families.
“She is a good soldier; she took the face shot,” a senior White House official said on background. “No one asked her to do it, but by the time we could put together a better strategy, she’d already owned it.”
Kelly is leaving one thing out. Even if it had been implemented perfectly, it wouldn’t have mattered. It was something the Democrats could use as a cudgel. They do it as much as possible. A case in point is how their media treated the situation. Most of the illegal aliens pouring through are men but all you see are heartbreaking photos of women and children.
IMMIGRANTS AND LAWMAKERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BORDER SITUATION
Kelly blamed immigrants and lawmakers, not the White House, for the tense situation at the border, where thousands of Central Americans are stranded in Mexico — and two Guatemalan children have died in Border Patrol custody in Texas and New Mexico this month.
“One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to keep people from coming — obviously it’d be preferable for them to stay in their own homeland but it’s difficult to do sometimes, where they live — is a crazy, oftentimes conflicting series of loopholes in the law in the United States that makes it extremely hard to turn people around and send them home,” Kelly said.
“If we don’t fix the laws, then they will keep coming,” he continued. “They have known, and they do know, that if they can get here, they can, generally speaking, stay.”
Kelly rejects reports that Trump bristled at the endless briefings and Kelly’s tight-fisted control of access to the Oval Office.
It seems the Democrats were right, Kelly was keeping things balanced — in the left’s direction. His views are not in line with the Presidents. Therein lies the biggest problem.
From now on, we will see more of Trump being Trump for whatever that will bring.