General John Kelly is finally lashing out at Donald Trump, more than a year after he departed as Trump’s White House Chief of Staff. Kelly could have spoken up a lot more soon and done the nation a lot more good, and he knows it. But even if you want to award Kelly no points for finally speaking out now, the fact that he is speaking out is a sign of something much bigger going on right now.
Why didn’t John Kelly speak out sooner? That’s easy. His own agenda – whatever it may be – has been more important to him than doing the right thing for America. He’s not the kind of guy who was willing to stick his neck out back when it would have counted for more. Nor has Kelly simply decided that Trump has finally gone too far. Kelly is not that kind of guy. He’s on the board of directors of one of the companies that runs Trump’s immigrant child prisons.
So what’s Kelly doing? Once you’ve ruled out the notion that a guy like this would do it for the right reasons, you’re left to conclude that he’s doing it for pragmatic reasons. In other words, he thinks it’s a good opportunity to get on board with… something larger. What exactly is coming? We don’t know. But Trump seems to think something big is coming when it comes to his former senior White House advisers, because he’s re-hired three of them this week, including two guys he hates. It’s almost as if Trump knew something was coming, and decided he had to entice Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer to not be a part of it.
It’s worth noting that John Bolton, who rarely tweets anything, made a point of defending John Kelly today. Specifically, Bolton – who didn’t even get along with Kelly – is insisting that conservatives defend Kelly against “baseless attacks,” by which he presumably means Trump’s baseless attacks. None of these people are the good guys, clearly. None of them are to be trusted. But right now most of his top former White House advisers are either going back to work for him, or coming out against him in curious fashion. There’s too much here to be happenstance. Let’s keep an eye on this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report