Press: John Kelly must go

Press: John Kelly must go
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The Trump White House has had its share of screw-ups, but the Rob Porter mess is the worst yet. Because it’s entirely self-inflicted. There’s no way Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE can blame this one on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery MORE, Senate Democrats or “fake news,” and he hasn’t even tried. The White House owns the Rob Porter scandal, and nobody looks good.

Not White House Counsel Don McGahn, who was first informed of domestic violence allegations against Porter in January 2017 and did nothing about it. For 13 months.
Not communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Trump defends denying McGahn's testimony House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE, who was dating Porter and helped prepare the White House’s initial response defending Porter.

Certainly not President Donald Trump, who, even after Porter was fired, still defended him. “We hope that he will have a wonderful career,” Trump told reporters, adding: “He says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that.” Which is the same excuse he used to defend Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore wants judge who ruled against him removed from case The Hill's Morning Report - Lawmakers split over Mueller findings: 'case closed' vs. 'cover-up' Roy Moore 'seriously considering' another Senate bid MORE — and himself.

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But Trump didn’t stop there. Having accused all 20 women who’ve accused him of sexual abuse of lying, he suggested Porter’s ex-wives may be lying, too. “People’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump tweeted. “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

How ironic that someone who has denied due process to his women accusers should now champion it for an accused wife-beater. Not to mention that the testimony of two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend, the photo of a black eye, plus an FBI investigation and a police report are more than a “mere allegation.”

But the one who looks worst of all is chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, who at first defended Porter — twice! — and urged him to “stay and fight.” Then, after finally forcing Porter out, lied to reporters and White House staff about when he learned the truth about Porter and how soon he acted. This is not the first time he’s turned a blind eye to sexual abuse. The New York Times reports that in 2016, Kelly appeared as a character witness in the court-martial of a Marine colonel accused of sexually harassing two female soldiers. Kelly praised the colonel as a “superb Marine officer.”

In his short six months in the White House, Kelly’s already demonstrated that a general’s uniform alone does not necessarily qualify him for chief of staff. This isn’t the first time he’s screwed up royally. He lied about Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonOvernight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info House Dem: Trump could start war with Iran to thwart impeachment Lawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote MORE (D-Fla.). He praised Robert E. Lee. He claimed there would have been no civil war if people had only compromised on slavery. He contradicted Donald Trump on the wall. He called those who did not apply for deportation protection through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “lazy.” And now he’s defended a man denied a security clearance because he was accused of beating up two ex-wives.

And yet, for all that, John Kelly is still on the job. Why? The man who was called in to calm things down in the White House has only stirred things up worse. It’s time for John Kelly to go.
 
Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”