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 TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE can blame this one on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 HicksEx-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Cummings asks prosecutors about decision not to charge Trump in hush money probe Judiciary chair demands Hope Hicks clarify closed-door testimony 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 MooreAlabama GOP senate candidate says 'homosexual activities' have ruined TV, country's moral core The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions 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: US shoots down Iranian drone | Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia | Trump mulls Turkey sanctions | Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract Pentagon contractor charged with threatening to kill Rep. Frederica Wilson: report Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment 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.”