White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Thursday said he was “stunned” by the Democratic congresswoman who called President Donald Trump’s call with parents of a fallen soldier disrespectful.
Earlier in the week, Rep. Frederica Wilson criticized the President for his comments to a widow of one of the four soldiers who were recently killed in Niger. Wilson said Trump told the grieving widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
Since then, Trump has pushed back against this account, and on Thursday, Kelly strongly defended him. Invoking the story of his own son who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, Kelly spoke emotionally and said he was “broken-hearted” that the Congresswoman used the death of a military member to criticize Trump.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and broken-hearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly said in the White House briefing room on Thursday, adding that the soldier understood his role when he enlisted. “He was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.”
Read the full transcript of his remarks below: