‘Morally weak grifters’: John Kelly shredded and accused of ‘reputation laundering’ for praising Trump White House staffers
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (Screen capture)

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.

"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:

Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, weighed in:

Journalist David Roberts:

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