White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly gave a heart-rending press conference Thursday, explaining the process of how the President contacts the families of fallen soldiers, and expressing his disgust that a member of Congress would listen in on such a private conversation and use it as a political football against the President.
As the White House briefing room sat in awed silence, Kelly recounted his own experience losing a son in battle, how the military responds when one of their own is killed in action, and how the President — the Commander-in-Chief — responds when a United States soldier falls in battle.
Kelly went on to explain how he sat down with President Trump ahead of making condolence calls to the families of American servicemen killed last week in Niger. Kelly says he counseled Trump to express that the soldiers were heroes and brave souls. “There’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden,” Kelly says he told Trump.
The Chief of Staff then became visibly agitated, telling press that “it stuns me, it absolutely stuns me, that a member of Congress would listen in on that conversation.”
“I was stunned and broken hearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing.”
Video: Gut-wrenching stuff as Gen. Kelly describes his emotions upon seeing Democratic Rep. Wilson parading around blasting Trump pic.twitter.com/1quiR8ta0R
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 19, 2017
Kelly went on to say that he was so incensed at Rep. Frederica Wilson’s behavior that he took a ride to Arlington National Cemetery and walked among the headstones for more than an hour.
“Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1% this country produces,” Kelly said, trying to drive home his displeasure that fallen American soldiers were being used to score cheap political points over the last several days.
Kelly finished by encouraging a more reverent atmopshere, and more respect for what the military does daily. “The selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield … I just thought that that might be sacred.”
“They don’t do it for any other reason than their sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.”