White House: Kelly ‘Absolutely’ Stands By False Claims About Wilson

The White House on Friday said that its chief of staff “absolutely” stands by his false comments about Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), despite video evidence proving him wrong. While railing against Wilson’s criticism of President Trump’s call with a Gold Star widow, Kelly told media on Thursday that he recalled Wilson grandstanding during a somber FBI event in 2015, touting herself as having secured funding for a new building. However, the Sun-Sentinel found the full speech video and it contained no such boasting. Nevertheless, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Kelly was calling out Wilson as an “empty barrel” for making “a sacred act like honoring a sacred hero about yourself.” CBS reporter Chip Reid corrected Sanders, noting that the Wilson speech shows her praising FBI agents and not once boasting about her legislative record. “She also had quite a few comments that day that weren’t part of that speech and weren’t part of that video that were also witnessed by many people there,” Sanders replied, declining to name specific comments or evidence. Asked whether Kelly would come out to address his own false statements, Sanders invoked a curious defense: “If you want to get into a debate with a four-star marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate.”