In a striking piece by Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, the same reporter who Scaramucci ranted about Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon to, now claims Chief of Staff Kelly convinced President Trump to give up on building a border wall between U.S. and Mexico.
New Yorker reports:
A hint of Kelly’s potential influence on Trump emerged two weeks ago, in Aspen, Colorado, when Kelly made a startling revelation. According to several sources who attended a private briefing that included some of the nation’s most senior current and former national-security officials, Kelly sought to ease their minds about one of the most controversial and famous Trump proposals: the border wall with Mexico. Many of the current and former officials were deeply skeptical of Trump, and surprised that Kelly, a respected Marine Corps general, would even take a job working for him.
Kelly explained that he had spent a great deal of time talking through the issue with Trump, and he believed he had convinced the President that he didn’t actually need to build a physical wall along the entire nineteen-hundred-mile-long border between the United States and Mexico. Instead, the use of sophisticated monitoring technology, air surveillance, and fencing could secure the border with what Trump could start calling a “barrier.”
To the officials in the room, it was a fascinating admission. Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas, even the ones that were core campaign promises. Kelly did not seem delusional. After impressing the group with the anecdote, Kelly added a caveat that was paraphrased for me as something to the effect of, “But you never know: one tweet, and that could all change.”
Lizza’s story dropped on the same day as Kelly’s appointment as Chief of Staff and a CNN report the General nearly resigned after former FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Trump.
Rush Limbaugh also briefly touched on this today.
Via the Rush Limbaugh website:
CNN’s reporting that Kelly, the new chief of staff, called Comey after Trump fired him to express anger at Trump for firing Comey. So Kelly’s director of Homeland Security. Trump fires Comey and Kelly calls Comey to tell him, “You got a raw deal.” Now, are you telling…? (interruption) I don’t have the New York Times website up here. (interruption) I don’t… (interruption) Oh, there it is on Fox. Okay. “Scaramucci Out as White House Communications Director.” To think, the guy lost his wife over this for a three-week gig! Did you hear about that, Dawn? (interruption)
Scaramucci’s wife divorced him when he went to work for Trump because she hates Trump. Now, they’re denying that’s the reason for the divorce.