Gen. John Kelly, current White House Chief of Staff, silenced the press room on Thursday when he stated he was “stunned” when he heard what a Florida member of Congress had said about President Trump’s phone call with a widow whose husband died in combat, according to The Daily Caller.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly said.
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The retired Marine said that presidents don’t typically call the next of kin of fallen troops and that he actually recommended that Trump not call. “If you elect to call a family like this it is about the most difficult thing you can imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” the retired general said. “[Trump] called four people the other day and express his condolences in the best way he could and he said to me, ‘What do I say?’”
Kelly went on to say that he told the president what Kelly’s friend Marine Gen. Joe Dunford told him when Kelly’s own son died. “He said, ‘Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining… that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were, because we’re 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 four families the other day.”
Kelly was the highest ranking officer under the Obama administration to lose a son in combat.
“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know when I was a kid growing up a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life, the dignity of life, was sacred. Religion, that seems to be gone as well. Gold star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or a woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that might be sacred.”