The Corner

Politics & Policy

General Kelly: About That Wall ‘Flexibility’

A lot of news came out of Bret Baier’s interview with White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly (which Fox News has now posted). Not least: General Kelly essentially confirmed the Washington Post’s report that he had told Congressional Hispanic Caucus members that Trump’s campaign rhetoric promising a wall on the Southern border had not been “fully informed,” that there would be no “concrete wall from sea to shining sea,” and that Mexico would not pay for the wall.

This is no surprise to those of us who always knew and said that Trump’s promises on these counts were absurd and would never come to pass. I do wonder, though, how it will sit with the Trump base.

Interestingly, Kelly repeatedly praised Trump’s “flexibility” in office. By this, he meant that Trump is not wedded to the positions he took during the campaign, that he has shown himself ready, willing, and able to change his position as president, once he becomes more … informed.

I’m not sure that will sit real well, either. Of course, people – and public officials most of all – should be willing to change their minds either when facts change or, as in the president’s case, when his understanding of the facts comes more in line with what the facts actually are. It is worse to make a bad decision than to promise to make one.

That said, Mr. Trump has not always seen flexibility as a virtue – particularly when President Obama promised it to Vladimir Putin on a hot mic prior to the 2012 election. I just had a gander at then reality TV star Donald Trump’s tweet on November 8, 2012:

Russian leaders are publicly celebrating Obama’s reelection. They can’t wait to see how flexible Obama will be now.

I guess times change.

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