The Corner

White House

Did Kelly Call Trump an Idiot?

Kelly is denying it, and I believe him. I don’t think he’s an operator or careerist, and he’s a deeply honorable man. Notably, Tillerson never denied calling Trump a moron. But I’m sure Kelly finds his job immensely frustrating at times. Two stories that have come up in the reporting about this are Trump supposedly saying in private that he wanted to pull all our troops out of South Korea and Trump’s statement publicly that we were going to pull out of Syria. Kelly wouldn’t be human, or a professional, if he weren’t banging his head against the wall during both of these episodes (assuming the reporting about the Korea discussion is accurate). The deeper story here is that whoever the leakers of the alleged idiot comment were, they intended it as a political kill-shot against Kelly — nothing would be better calculated to undermine Kelly with Trump. I’m hoping the president sticks with him as long as possible, because there’s no way he’s getting a better chief of staff.

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.