You know, it is close to impossible to take this administration at its word. You have to assume this administration will, at the least will misrepresent the facts or, at the most, will bold face lie to the American people.
Representative Fredrica Wilson was vindicated after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that the representative bragged in 2015 about securing funding and hogged the spotlight at such a somber occasion. He called her an “empty barrel” a number of times. White House Chief of Staff Kelly was responding to the claim Wilson made earlier in the week that Trump, when he made a condolence call to the widow of a slain US soldier in Niger that her husband know “what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts.”
To me there are some disturbing issues raised about the response to by the administration. With the response by Trump, actually his knee jerk, childish reaction to the representative isn’t a surprise at all. A level headed response from the leader of the free world is something we don’t expect anymore, which is a shame.
John Kelly demonstrated how far this administration will go to preserve a lie. Initial conversations about the Kelly press conference were somewhat positive. Kelly invoked the memory of his own son in comparison, explaining that he was told similar words when his son was killed in Afghanistan. If he had left it there, there may have been blowback from his remarks by Trump haters, but the administration could have countered with a plausible response.
When John Kelly decided to attack the Representative personally, that’s when the military man stretched the point and began to lose the moral high ground. One thing this administration does is assumes that people they attack don’t have facts to support their claims. When Kelly first claimed that Wilson listened in on a conversation, trying to make it sound like there was some nefarious reasoning for listening in, it didn’t occur to Kelly, or for members of the administration, that Kelly could have been a friend of the family. It was well reported before Kelly’s statement on Thursday, because I heard the Representative on The View on Wednesday mention this, that she was a friend of the family and had known Army Sgt. La David Johnson since he was a boy in the mentoring program she ran.
This administration doesn’t bother to do checks on details like that. They seem to assume they have the “facts,” which are normally based on assumptions. When Kelly mentioned that how disgusted he was about a speech made at the FBI dedication, I’m sure the administration didn’t do any digging into the speech. Within 24 hours, there was video of the speech given by the Representative, and despite what the retired General portrayed, the Representative made clear it was a group effort, thanking a whole lot of people, including then Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Marco Rubio. She was clear that she was a small part of a bi-partisan effort to get the building dedicated.
Here’s the bigger thing I took away from this display. Despite the miscalculations of the administration, it will not change any minds of those who support the administration, and Kelly’s reputation will not be tarnished. I was watching a few retired generals who were interviewed this morning. They went out of their way to praise Kelly, yet dismissed the outright lie he told about the representative. They should have been pressed on the fact, which was seen on the video, that he grossly misrepresented what the representative said, but all they could talk about was the family of the military and the honor of the organization.
Trump and Wilson are the louder voices in the drama. Wilson is embolden because of her vindication. Her outrage against Trump will fuel her to make overarching statements that will sound great to her constituents and some in the Democratic Party but will turn sour for most of the country. Seriously, by claiming, as she did Friday, that the Trump Administration have white supremacists shuts down serious dialog for most people.
This issue will not change minds in any camp.