John Kelly, former chief of staff to President Trump, said Saturday he warned the president before he left the White House not to replace him with a “yes man” because it would lead to Trump’s impeachment.
Kelly also said he believed he could have prevented the current impeachment inquiry against Trump if he had stayed in the job. Kelly said the inquiry could have been avoided if president had surrounded himself with people who could rein in his worst instincts.
His candid remarks, made during an interview at a political conference hosted by the Washington Examiner, suggests he blames acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and others in the West Wing for not doing more to stop Trump’s behavior.
“Someone has got to be a guide that tells [the president] that you either have the authority or you don’t, or Mr. President, don’t do it,” Kelly told the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. “Don’t hire someone that will just nod and say, ‘That’s a great idea Mr. President.’ Because you will be impeached.”
The House Democrats are in the midst of an impeachment inquiry involving Trump’s request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden.
Kelly, a retired four-star Marine, has likened his time in the White House to wrestling with a bear every day, according to a person who spoke to him. The person asked not to be identified to speak candidly.
Kelly and Trump were barely on speaking terms when the former chief of staff left -- after 18 months of sometimes titanic clashes.
In one of their final conversations, according to a person briefed on the topic, Trump asked Kelly not to write a book -- and Kelly agreed, at least until Trump was out of office.
During the interview Saturday, Kelly expressed some regret about leaving.
“That was almost 11 months ago, and I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving,” Kelly said. “It pains me to see what’s going on because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place.”
Mulvaney has taken the different approach of letting “Trump be Trump.” The acting chief of staff regularly leaves the West Wing to visit his home in South Carolina, or golf, or attend political events, according to current and former aides.
But Kelly had his own controversial episodes in the White House, defending the administration’s family separation policy, making false statements about a U.S. congresswoman and mishandling allegations against Rob Porter, the former staff secretary.
During a second panel discussion, Kelly called Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria a “catastrophically bad idea.”
“It didn’t happen while I was there — and a couple of other people recently left the administration and then he went with his instinct,” Kelly said.
“My typology is . . . not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight. It is not a physiognomy and not an anthropological system, but a critical psychology dealing with the organization and delimitation of psychic processes that can be shown to be typical.” —C.G. Jung
A reporter was interviewing a woman who worked for Trump for many years and asked her how Trump would respond to a particular question he had, and she said that Trump doesn’t respond, he replies.
Apparently, in order to respond, you actually have to listen to what someone else says.
This can be seen in his interchanges with reporters regarding his attempt to bribe Ukrainian officials with public money for personal gain. He just keeps repeating the phrase “It was a perfect phone call.” Which does not actually address their questions. It’s like shouting out “My shoes are polished!”
When you combine his pathological lying with his refusal to hear criticism and his need for public adoration, the picture that emerges is one of a man with a very fragile sense of self.
Last edited by Adam Strange; 11-13-2019 at 03:15 AM.
As much as the MSM make fun of him or call him incompetent, Trump’s mode of communication is effective 1-on-1, and he’s more intelligent and socially capable than he’s typicaly given credit for — if not in the academic, bookish way that well-off liberal reporter-types are capable of, or willing to, recognize. He made Ted Cruz — an experienced debater — look like an idiot by calling his wife ugly. He baited Warren into taking a DNA test, even though no matter the result, such a test wouldn’t have had a good outcome for Warren — and all but guaranteeing his victory next election should Warren become the Democratic candidate. And when it comes to his gaining the Presidency in the first place: that wasn’t sheer chance.
As a goatherd learns his trade by goat, so a writer learns his trade by wrote.