Donald Trump’s announcement that Chief of Staff John Kelly will leave the administration by the end of the year has resulted in a lot of Beltway musing about Kelly’s influence on Trump, but not everyone agrees that Kelly was such a great “adult in the room.”
On Sunday morning’s edition of MSNBC’s Up with David Gura, White House correspondent Fran Chambers reminded viewers of two “turning points” in Kelly’s tenure as chief of staff.
“One area where he tried to push the president on, with regards to border security, was that border wall,” Chambers said. “And I think a really big turning point for his relationship with President Trump was when he claimed that the president had evolved on the border wall, and that after being told by people who were more informed than him, he has now changed some of his beliefs because he was not fully informed at the time.”
“That was a huge turning point, because then the president came out, swatted against him, said ‘I know exactly what I’m talking about. The wall has always been the wall’,” Chambers said, recounting a well-publicized episode in the Trump-Kelly relationship.
“And then number two, I do think that the Rob Porter saga, and his handling of that ,made a huge difference in John Kelly’s tenure there,” Chambers continued, describing Kelly’s fulsome defense of Porter at the time.
“I think that there were a lot of people, inside the White House and outside the White House, who thought that he mishandled that,” Chambers said.
Panelist and Above the Law editor Elie Mystal was more direct, telling the panel “That’s how we know General Kelly was kind of a bad guy. He supported a wife-beater. That’s bad!”
Comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead added “And he also double down on Trump’s Charlottesville comments.”
Earlier in the segment, Mystal acknowledged Kelly’s military service, saying “John Kelly served his country honorably,” but added “he leaves behind, from his time in the White House, a legacy of failure.”
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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