John Kelly Doesn’t Owe Us Anything

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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29 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    I think this is exactly right. If everything we have learned about Trump’s character over the last five years is not enough to dissuade you from voting for him, then John Kelly saying “yeah, he said those things” is not going to push you over that line.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
      Ignored
      says:

      How did John Kelly’s name get associated with the current nonsense? The records prove the Atlantic story is false, as does the ten or fifteen officials who were there who went on the record saying it was completely false, including John Bolton, who says if it was true, he would have given it an entire chapter in his book slamming Trump, which he didn’t because it wasn’t, to his knowledge, true. That’s at least 10 people on the record saying the story is completely false, and zero people on the record saying it has even a grain of truth. I figure some up-and-coming radio DJ pranked a gullible reporter.

      What is revealing is how fast Biden came out to attack Trump for allegedly saying something mean when he won’t say spit about his own people burning down US cities.Report

      • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        We know that McCain called Trump a loser.

        We know that he laughed about dodging the Vietnam draft.

        Only Kelly and Trump know what was said between them.

        No records prove anything was false but keep trying.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Siegel
          Ignored
          says:

          Actually, FOIA records refute The Atlantic story. The story contends that Trump contemptuously cancelled his cemetery visit. Records show that he was upset because the military folks cancelled his visit, one he really wanted to make. Thus, the total premise of The Atlantic story is completely false.

          Which might be why Kelly hasn’t gone on the record to say a darn thing.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Michael Siegel
      Ignored
      says:

      Q.E.D aboveReport

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Well said.Report

  3. Avatar InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    This is another area that the media has unwittingly destroyed itself and helped enable Trump. You can’t constantly bray about norm-breaking by the administration then at the drop of a hat call for norm-breaking by others against the administration. Failure to grasp this is one of the primary reasons Trump is still in the race.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Schrodinger’s presidency. I am reminded of the line from a book “I have fallen into a hole that has replaced my soul.”

    A very nice piece Andrew.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    They’ve never tried to hide who they are. From Junior’s book, describing his thoughts on driving past Arlington National Cemetery:

    In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed—voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off the office.’

    The cherry on top is that they didn’t do that.Report

  6. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    He doesn’t owe us anything. But he he put himself in position to know lots of things. It was his choice. His current no comment is akin to observing a nice trash fire and offering to toss his oily rags in. . A strong denial would be clear; but no. A yeah of course he said that because that is who is; no not that.

    Would the prez who cheated charities out of money and had to pay back a couple million really say bad things about vets?

    Everybody says nothing matters about trump, we all know he is scum, so why bother. Except that isn’t true. Granted nothing is going to change millions of peoples view is one swell foop. But what he does matters. People were talking about his post convention bump. Why? Because sometimes those things matter. They are going to debate and some of the people right here will sure as hell talk about what he and biden do. If Kelly or Mattis or whoever else came out to say the allegations were true it would change votes and matter. What people actually mean when they says X won’t matter, is that it doesn’t matter to them. Many trumpers don’t care if he said what he is accused of. They will overlook it and finding a way to ignore it is easiest then making up some bs excuse.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      No, we’ll ignore it because it never happened. Keep in mind, in 2012 The Atlantic for focused like a laser on proving that Sarah Palin wasn’t Trig Palin’s mother. They go nuts at election time and put out ridiculous smear pieces.

      First off, the story has already been flatly refuted by at least ten people, on the record, and refuted by FOIA information about the day in question. The Atlantic wasn’t smart enough to set the story in a place where there weren’t as many witnesses, and where there wouldn’t be documentation that would refute their key facts.

      Second, the story doesn’t make sense based on human behavior, much less Trump behavior. It’s like running a story about Obama calling black people “a bunch of worthless, swamp runnin’, drug sniffin’, moronic negroes” (with liberal use of the N-word), and setting the tirade in a meeting with a dozen black leaders. It has him saying the highly offensive things in a room full of people who are “most likely to be offended.” If true, it would have leaked immediately, and more importantly, if Obama ran around saying that kind of thing to a room full of black leaders, he certainly would’ve been saying that kind of thing in front of everybody.

      In fact, a room full of black leaders is the last place Obama would’ve said such a thing. Saying it in front of Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich would’ve been more likely – because normal humans take at least some care not to offend their immediate audience. A white athlete who never says racially derogatory things won’t say any racially derogatory things, offhand, in a locker room full of black players, and that be the only time he people hear about it. He would’ve been saying those things all the time when the black players weren’t in the room, making it trivially easy to find tons of corroborating examples.

      Like my hypothetical Obama story, The Atlantic‘s hit piece fails that basic test of logic. Not only is it nothing but a mindless political hit piece, it’s not even a halfway-competent mindless political hit piece. All it’s done is draw derision from normal people and make the press, and Joe Biden, look like blithering fools for giving it the slightest credence. It one thing to make the press look like a bunch of evil hacks, but this makes them look like a bunch of stupid evil hacks.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Remind me, how did you explain away trump having to pay back 2 million bucks for cheating charities?

        Just rinse and repeat.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
          Ignored
          says:

          And that has what to do with The Atlantic‘s crazy story?

          You see, Trump spent almost his entire life as a Democrat, running around with Bill Clinton and tons of other famous draft dodgers and anti-war activists, people who’d he’d be a hundred times more likely to let loose with than he would a room full of career military officers. Yet neither Bill Clinton nor anyone else on the left reported that Trump said horrible things about US troops. Therefore, even aside from all the on-the-record flat refutations of The Atlantic story, we can also conclude that it’s unlikely Trump said anything remotely like what The Atlantic claimed.

          It’s fake news – made up by lying journalists who were absolutely desperate to divert attention away from Biden’s crashing poll numbers and embarrassing appearance in Kenosha, where all of forty people turned out to see him.Report

      • Avatar Michael Siegel in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        ” in 2012 The Atlantic for focused like a laser on proving that Sarah Palin wasn’t Trig Palin’s mother.”

        First of all, the conspiracy theory was in *2008*. Second, it was run by a few blogger, not Atlantic reporting.Report

  7. Avatar Fish
    Ignored
    says:

    Great piece, Andrew. I’m not going to lie, I’d like nothing more than for Kelly to step forward and reveal what he knows, but while it might make ripples among the opposition, it won’t dent the hide of his supporters one bit.Report

  8. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    John Kelly has done his bit, and then some, for his country. He has given more than he ever took in return. And he doesn’t owe us a damn thing.

    At the very least Kelly owes us an apology for kidnapping kids and “permanently separating” them from their parents.Report

  9. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    For those keeping score at home, this story isn’t even twitching anymore. Even the editor of “The Atlantic” went on CNN and said that maybe the White House version is the one that’s true, and started casting blame towards the journalistic practice of using of anonymous sources – and then pointed to the Washington Post’s stories that also used anonymous sources.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      Heck, I’m old enough to remember when a sitting President accusing the Pentagon generals of being war profiteers would have been a story with legs.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        They’ve been saying that since Washington. The Founders didn’t trust standing armies. Eisenhower coined the term “military industrial complex” and warned that it was a potentially huge threat to peace. Trump knows that being the first President in modern memory who hasn’t started a bunch of foreign wars might not make him very popular with certain folks.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          When you criticize the military- industrial complex and the capitalist warmongers, this liberal is triggered.

          So very, very triggered.

          If you start talking about the bankers and corporate pigs I may need a safe space.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Most likely a broken clock kind of thing when Trump is saying it. Still, is it too cynical to believe that the issue has been dropped because deep down everyone knows he’s kind of right?Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Trump isn’t saying anything actually.
          He’s doing that car salesman thing where he just keeps rambling and saying whatever needs to be said at the moment, even if it contradicts what he said 5 minutes before.

          If he’s miffed at a general, then suddenly they are all stupid and incompetent warmongers, if one of them flatters him then they are great heroes.

          Normal people say things that express their inner convictions and beliefs.
          Trump has none, and so nothing he says matters.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Trump is blathering about this because of 1) the Military Times poll that showed officers didn’t like him and/or 2) he is trying to portray himself as caring for the people he has been calling losers. Those are the most likely reasons. He isn’t even a broken clock on this because he has history of actions that go against what he is saying. He has repeatedly pushed for large arms deals and increased military spending. There is no reason to think he believes what he is saying so how can he even be right? It’s all just a bs distraction.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            But he hasn’t called them losers. He called John McCain a loser, but that’s because John McCain was a loser.

            The issue was dropped because 19 people went on the record refuting The Atlantic‘s story. Some tried to hang on, claiming that maybe he only said it in front of General Kelly, but then General Kelly’s own aide went on the record to say that the story was absolutely false.

            So now the Democrats are scrambling for another unsubstantiated rumor so they can attack him over something else. If this is the best they can do, and it likely is because it was a planned and coordinated attack, Biden is doomed. 1980’s college interns were more competent than whoever is running this crop of political operatives.Report

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