White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s resignation under the pressure of domestic violence allegations further diminishes the credibility of presidential Chief of Staff John Kelly, who wrote yesterday defending Porter—accused of roughing up two former wives—calling him “a man of true integrity and honor” and a “trusted professional.”
And, it’s likely that Kelly knew about Porter’s alleged disgraceful and violent misogyny. Both of Porter’s ex-wives told FBI agents vetting him about their claims of abuse, The Intercept reported. Also, Politico reports that a source said Kelly was aware of a 2010 protective order against Porter.
This is the same John Kelly who wants to deport immigrants for minor errors on their forms. He’s also the same former Homeland Security secretary who halted all entries from a half-dozen Muslim countries to demand even more vetting of people who had already been meticulously vetted. Yet, he saw no problem with ignoring the FBI’s vetting of the wife-beater he went to bat for.
Being a perpetrator of domestic violence is grounds for keeping an immigrant out of the United States, but apparently it is not grounds for Kelly to keep a well-educated and well-to-do friend out of the White House. Reportedly, when even the Trump family saw that Porter’s sell-by date had long since passed, Kelly was urging Porter to fight it out. Kelly has revealed himself over the last year to be a man with loyalties to cronies, but without any moral compass.
The chief of staff has also shown himself to be a bigot. His “lazy…asses” remark earlier this week was just the latest racially charged insult he has hurled. It demonstrates his prejudices, but it also shows his ignorance. The president and Kelly claim that Trump’s immigration deal would offer protection to 1.8 million DACA recipients in exchange for $25 billion for “The Wall” and the loss of millions of visas for family members of U.S. citizens. As I said last week, there are not 1.8 million people living in the U.S. who are eligible for DACA, and Kelly is using an invented number to beat up on people who don’t even exist.
Calling these presumably Latino DACA-eligible phantoms “lazy” plays to the Trump base which, simultaneously, views immigrants as both “lazy” and “stealing our jobs.” Kelly’s racism may be an infection he caught in the White House, but it seems to have completely conquered his character.