One of the frequent refrains coming we heard prior to the mid-terms was the idea that conservatives and Republicans who oppose Trump’s tone or ways of dealing with things — policy seems not to matter — was to vote for Democrats because the run-of-the-mill GOPer doesn’t push back enough on the president. Well, I’m sure they’ll be pleased to know that prominent Republicans both in an outside of elected politics are making public statements rebuking comments made by Trump during an interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.
Sen. Chuck Grassley — who’s most recent notoriety came about during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh — tweeted Monday that he’d like Pres. Trump to stop denigrating his chief of staff, John Kelly, whom Grassley notes has served his country well for almost 50 years.
Grassley tweeted: “I wish President Trump would never discuss publicly any ill feelings has abt his CofStaff Gen Kelly. After all he was a Marine for 47 yrs. defended our freedoms. We need show respect.”
I wish President Trump would never discuss publicly any ill feelings has abt his CofStaff Gen Kelly. After all he was a Marine for 47 yrs. defended our freedoms. We need show respect
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 19, 2018
After the shellacking Republicans have seen slowly result since Nov. 6, only true Trump sycophants are crossing their arms and saying Trump shouldn’t do some introspection and correct course on the vitriol and criticism of his own hand-picked staff — to say nothing of the slew of others — in public.
Of Kelly, Trump told Wallace, “There are certain things I love what he does. And there are certain things that I don’t like that he does — that aren’t his strength. “He’s doing an excellent job in many ways,” Trump continued. “There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault, it’s not his strength.”
And went on to suggest Kelly will be moving on from the White House, “John, at some point, is going to want to move on. John will move on.”
During the interview with Wallace, Trump also called Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw Operation Enduring Freedom and the capture of Osama bin Laden, a “Hillary backer” — he actually declined to endorse any candidate in 2016 — and criticized how long it took the military to capture the 9/11 mastermind.
As Nora Ephron famously wrote in When Harry Met Sally, with his staff and now a Democratic-controlled House, Trump is going to have to try and find a way of not expressing every feeling that he has, every moment that he has them.
Although, now that Grassley has made his plea for respect and civility, one can expect Trump to see it as an opening salvo for all-out war against the most senior Republican (once Orrin Hatch retires in January). But, there’s always hope the president will surprise us.