White House Suggests John Kelly Might Not Have Known Trump Would Invoke Son’s Death

The White House on Wednesday suggested on that chief of staff John Kelly did not know that the president was going to invoke the memory of Kelly’s late son, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan, to criticize Trump’s predecessor. “I’m not sure if [Kelly] knew of that specific comment, but they had certainly spoken about it,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. Trump claimed on Tuesday that President Barack Obama had not called Kelly, a retired Marine general, after his son was killed in 2010. Trump invoked the memory of Second Lt. Robert Kelly in claiming that Obama, like other past presidents, had not called the families of deceased service-members. Kelly, Huckabee Sanders continued, “is disgusted by the way this has been politicized.” Asked whether it was Trump himself who politicized it, she added, “He was responding to a question and stating a fact.”

—Lachlan Markay