Yet another demand for loyalty is revealed.
Courtesy of Axios:
The day after President Trump fired FBI boss James Comey, the president phoned John Kelly, who was then secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, and offered him Comey’s job, the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Michael Schmidt reports in his forthcoming book, “Donald Trump v. The United States.”
“But the president added something else — if he became FBI director, Trump told him, Kelly needed to be loyal to him, and only him.”
“Kelly immediately realized the problem with Trump’s request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the president’s demand,” Schmidt writes.
“Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump.”
This previously unreported conversation sheds additional light on the president’s mindset when he fired Comey.
Special counsel Robert Mueller never learned of this information because the president’s lawyers limited the scope of his team’s two-hour interview with Kelly.
“In addition to illustrating how Trump viewed the role and independence of senior officials who work for him, the president’s demand for loyalty tracked with Comey’s experience with Trump,” Schmidt writes.
Schmidt reports that “throughout Kelly’s time working directly with Trump, Kelly was repeatedly struck by how Trump failed to understand how those who worked for him — like Kelly and other top former generals — had interest in being loyal not to him, but to the institutions of American democracy.”
“Kelly has told others that Trump wanted to behave like an authoritarian and repeatedly had to be restrained and told what he could and could not legally do.”
“Aside from questions of the law, Kelly has told others that one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO — a move that Trump has repeatedly threatened but never made good on, which would have been a seismic breach of American alliances and an extraordinary gift to Putin.”
Quote of the book: “Kelly has said that having to say no to Trump was like ‘French kissing a chainsaw.'”
I think the author of this book has a hard-on for John Kelly.
Look I think Kelly made some important hard choices in his effort to keep Trump in check, but I also know that he covered for some of Trump’s more racist comments, spoke out against DACA, and defended confederate soldiers saying “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.”
Having said that I am glad that this book has been written because we need as many confirmations that Trump is a wannabe dictator that we can bet before the November election.