White House Chief of Staff John Kelly says he was stunned by a Congress member’s account (Frederica Wilson’s account) of President Donald Trump’s call.
White House of Chief of Staff John Kelly today said he was “stunned” by what a Democratic congresswoman told reporters after she listened in on President Donald Trump’s call to the widow of a fallen soldier. Kelly also said he was stunned that a member of congress would listen in on a sacred conversation between the President of the United States and a grieving widow. Kelly said the sacred process of grieving a soldier that died on the battlefield eroded a great deal by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.
Kelly said he advised Trump on what to say before the president called the families of the four fallen soldiers who died during an ambush in Niger, and encouraged Donald Trump to offer similar words that Gen. Joseph Dunford had offered to Kelly when his own son was killed in Afghanistan.
“He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war. And when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. That’s what the President tried to say to the four families the other day.”
— Chief of Staff John Kelly
Kelly also said it prompted him to leave the White House to go to Arlington National Cemetery and “go walk among the finest men and women on this earth.”
During the White House press briefing, Kelly said most Americans don’t know what happens when we lose on of our soldiers, sailors, marines, or coastguardsmen dies in combat, and explained the sacred event:
“Their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine, and sends them home. Their first stop along the way is when they are packed in ice, typically at the airhead and then they’re flown to … usually Europe. Where they’re then packed in ice again, and flown to Dover Air Force Base. Where Dover takes care of the remains, embalms them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they’ve earned — the emblems of their service — and then puts them on another airplane linked up to the casualty officer — escort — that takes them home.
A very, very good movie to watch is “Taking Chance.” Where this is done in a movie — HBO setting. Chance Phelps was killed under my command right next to me. It’s worth seeing that if you’ve never seen it. So that’s the process. While that’s happening a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on. And then he knocks on the door, typically the mom and dad will answer, the wife. And if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places, if the parents are divorced, three different places and the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member. And stays with that family until — well, for a long, long time … even after the internment. So that’s what happens. Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1% this country produces. Most of you as Americans don’t know them. Most of you don’t know anyone that knows any of them. But they are the very best this country produces.And they volunteer to protect our country, when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required.”
— Chief of Staff John Kelly
Press briefing with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders including the entire message from White House Press Secretary John Kelly.
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