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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 TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE can blame this one on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat Katy Perry praises Taylor Swift for diving into politics Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue 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 HicksTrump: 'I don't call it tweeting. I call it social media' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Trump heads to battleground Iowa, where GOP House members seek help Hope Hicks to become Fox chief communications officer 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 MooreFormer campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Mellman: When questions don’t mean what they say CNN's Toobin: It's Trump's ‘nature’ to not believe accusations of sexual assault 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 WilsonTrump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin Clyburn rips Trump over Omarosa 'dog' comment: 'I don’t know of anything that has been more troubling to me' Dem lawmaker calls Trump racist in response to 'dog' comment 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.”