Kelly on Controversy With Dem Rep Over Gold Star Phone Call: I Have Nothing to Apologize For

Posted: Oct 31, 2017 8:25 AM

There is one person White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will not be apologizing to—and that is Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson. 

Appearing on the premiere of Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle,” the retired general said he continues to stand by his defense of President Trump’s call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of the Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the Green Berets killed in the Niger ambush earlier this month.

Host Laura Ingraham asked Kelly if has anything to apologize for.

Wilson, for example, has demanded one for what she claims was “character assassination.”

"Oh, no. No. Never," Kelly said. "Well, I’ll apologize if I need to, but for something like that, absolutely not. I stand by my comments."

Kelly defended the widow’s comments about Trump—but was less forgiving about the politicization of the event.

"It was absolutely depressing to me to see how that was turned into a political event. I just don’t know how anyone could possibly criticize another human being for doing the best he or she can do to express sorrow from the bottom of their hearts," he said. 

“As far as the young widow goes — she has every right to say what she wants to say," Kelly said referring to Johnson.

During a White House press conference earlier this month, Kelly, who lost a son in combat, said, “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. I would have thought that was sacred.”

Kelly explained during the press briefing what he told the president about making the difficult phone call to the families of fallen service members.

“Well, let me tell you what I told him. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me -- because he was my casualty officer. 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, in the four cases we're talking about, Niger, and my son's case in Afghanistan -- 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.”

Wilson, who was in the car with Johnson when Trump called, said the president spoke to her in a very “insensitive” way. 

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