Hillary Clinton’s former campaign spokesman called retired Gen. John Kelly “odious” on Thursday after the White House chief of staff and Gold Star father spoke about President Trump’s decision to call the families of four soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month.
“Don’t be distracted by the uniform,” Brian Fallon, a CNN contributor and past communications director for Clinton’s campaign, wrote on Twitter following Kelly’s remarks.
“Kelly isn’t just an enabler of Trump. He’s a believer in him. That makes him as odious as the rest,” wrote Fallon, who is also an adviser to the Democratic political action committee, Priorities PAC.
Fallon was upset with a briefing that Kelly gave to reporters on President Trump’s phone calls to the families of the four fallen soldiers. (RELATED: John Kelly Urges Americans To Remember What Is ‘Sacred’)
The calls became controversial after Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson told a reporter that Trump made what she said were “insensitive” remarks during his conversation with the pregnant widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson.
Wilson, who was listening in on the call, said that Trump told the widow that Johnson “knew what he signed up for…but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”
During his remarks on Thursday, Kelly, whose son 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, said that he was “stunned” by Wilson’s remarks to the media.
“I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly said.
Kelly also gave an emotional description of the process by which soldiers killed in combat are returned back to the U.S.
Describing his conversations with Trump about contacting grieving families, Kelly said Thursday that he initially advised Trump against calling them.
“If you elect to call a family like this it is about the most difficult thing you can imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” said Kelly, a retired Marine general.
But Kelly defended Trump’s decision to make the calls.
“[Trump] called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way he could and he said to me, ‘What do I say?'”