John Kelly, President Donald Trump's former Chief of Staff and Secretary of Homeland Security, is being criticized today after praising the "vast majority" of Trump White House staffers – political appointees who chose to work for this president – as "decent people" who "kept the train from careening off the tracks."
Kelly's remarks are part of what is being called a "reputation laundering" article in The Atlantic for several ex-Trump officials.
Trump White House staffers, Kelly laments, “unfortunately paid quite a price ... in reputation and future employment. They don’t deserve that. They deserve better than that, because they kept the train from careening off the tracks.”
Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, a "Never Trumper," disagrees with Kelly.
@AdrienneLaF @PeterAtlantic No they were not. They worked for a liar and a racist. Many lied themselves. They flout… https://t.co/Q9NPaW62RG— Jennifer Rubin (@Jennifer Rubin)1608319578.0
"I see the reputation laundering has begun," says Tom Nichols, a Project Lincoln senior advisor, international affairs specialist, and professor at the U.S. Naval War College.
Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, responded to the Kelly quote praising White House staffers even more succinctly:
Speaking of reputations, as some have noted, Kelly was instrumental in the Trump child separations policy, oversaw Trump's Muslim ban, expanded Trump's deportations, and called some DACA recipients "too lazy to get off their asses." After exiting the White House he "joined the board of the conglomerate that operates the largest facility for migrant children in the country," the AP reported. "Some members of Congress have described 'prison-like' conditions in the facility in Homestead, Florida."
Kelly was also blasted after it was revealed he claimed immigrants don't "assimilate" or "integrate well."
James McGowan, whose bio says he is a Senior Advisor at the United Nations, offered this salient point:
@waltshaub @AdrienneLaF @JohnJHarwood @PeterAtlantic When you take an appointment offered by an asset of a foreign… https://t.co/WSz36Z3T3k— James McGowan (@James McGowan)1608319810.0
Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, weighed in:
The problem with this is that the enterprise was indecent and the train did careen off the tracks. https://t.co/fn2PTjyh7U— Ben Rhodes (@Ben Rhodes)1608319385.0
Journalist David Roberts:
Counterpoint: they are morally weak grifters who thought they could suck some personal gain out of a national crisi… https://t.co/vhXu9yyE9r— David Roberts (@David Roberts)1608323559.0
John Kelly was key in instituting and justifying the child-separation policy. After leaving the White House, he bec… https://t.co/u2WApl1dup— Pé (@Pé)1608318881.0
absolute bullshit and if you fall in line with this you're very stupid. nobody had to work for trump. they all chos… https://t.co/Eh6sBbc5Du— Oliver Willis (@Oliver Willis)1608318704.0
The adults in the room were simultaneously a stabilizing force and, by definition, co-conspirators unfit for rehabi… https://t.co/23W7kKIdcs— Individual-1 (@Individual-1)1608319428.0
The train careened off the tracks with mass casualties on a daily basis for four focking years. They were indecent… https://t.co/HSqOVnWpI8— Lesley Abravanel🆘 (@Lesley Abravanel🆘)1608315979.0