Last night I noted the Miami Herald report which made it pretty clear that John Kelly had gotten his facts very wrong in his attack on Rep. Wilson’s comments at that FBI building dedication ceremony back in 2015. But they couldn’t get the actual video. Well, now the Sun-Sentinel has the video.
On the facts, it’s exactly as she said. She never said she got the money for the building. She said she sponsored the bill to name it after the fallen FBI agents – at the request of James Comey, who thanked her when he spoke. She wasn’t even in Congress when the money was appropriated. It wouldn’t make any sense. The video is ten minutes long. It’s a very standard Member of Congress speech. She thanks other local members of both parties in attendance. She describes the process of naming the building. She says things you would expect a member of Congress to say about members of law enforcement, the FBI, valor and heroism. It’s all very … well, just normal. You can watch it here.
It’s a tough question to think why John Kelly would have remembered it so negatively. People go to a lot of events. I can believe he misremembered it and thought it was about getting the money. Getting funding, getting a law passed to name the building. Neither would be terribly objectionable. But watch the video and see if you see anything that would make you think she was somehow a terrible or brazen person.
As I was writing this post, news came out that Kelly has doubled down on his attack, shifting his story while acknowledging no error whatsoever.
Here’s part of how Johnson responded on CNN this morning.
Rep Wilson Says John Kelly Should Stop Lying About Her. And the CNN Host Has An Odd Response. pic.twitter.com/cRBOciU5Pq
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 20, 2017
Given how all of this has shaken out, the attacks, the weaponization of military sacrifice against civilians, the false statements, the refusal to apologize for or even acknowledge those false statements and the potent statement of MAGA-ist philosophy, it is impossible not to conclude that John Kelly is not ‘adult supervision’ for Trump but rather a more disciplined, more dignified, perhaps we should say a total-quality-Trumpism.