CNN’s Jake Tapper called out Gen. John Kelly for “laying rhetorical body blows” and “insulting” Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) in his press briefing Thursday.
In a stunning move, Kelly defended Donald Trump’s remarks to the widow of a fallen soldier Tuesday, during which the president reportedly told the mother of two her husband “knew what he was getting into” when he joined the military. The president has repeatedly denied he made such a comment.
In his remarks, Kelly blasted Wilson for listening to a “sacred” call between the president and the widow of a fallen soldier.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly said.
Discussing Kelly’s remarks, Tapper said the chief of staff spent his time at the podium “deriding politics and the sullying of grief in this whole controversy, but he is just laying rhetorical body blows and insulting, personally, the Congresswoman.”
Later, Tapper noted Trump previously insisted he never made those remarks in the first place.
“President Trump, two days ago, said that he never said that. He stood in front—I think he was maybe in the Roosevelt Room or the East Room—he was in the Cabinet Room and he told reporters he never said that,” Tapper said. Kelly just explained that he did say it, he brought in the context, he brought in the explanation, how President Trump meant it, although as you point out, the family didn't take it that way, but now we know that he did in fact say it, even though President Trump claimed that he did not.”