The lying liars of the Trump administration and the missed point | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The lying liars of the Trump administration and the missed point

Posted By on Sat, Oct 21, 2017 at 8:03 AM

HOW DARE YOU? Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was "inappropriate" to question retired Gen. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, about the inaccurate things he said about a Florida congresswoman.
  • HOW DARE YOU? Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was "inappropriate" to question retired Gen. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, about the inaccurate things he said about a Florida congresswoman.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly misspoke/lied about Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida and owes her an apology for doing so in attempting to protect Donald Trump from Wilson's criticism of his handling of sympathy calls to a family of a soldier killed in Niger.

That part is simple and indisputable, with TV video available to disprove Kelly's false characterization of a public speech by Wilson. Read the Washington Post opinion here. (Link corrected.)

I happen to also think it is indisputable, as Wilson believes, that her race is a factor in the nature of the response from the White House and Trump's supporters to her criticism. I also think Trump meant well in his call to a bereaved family, but, lacking empathy or compassion for others, was overmatched in a difficult task.

It is also true that there's a lot of lying, misinformation and political spin going around on something that could use less  — the loss of American lives in combat. Molly Roberts of the Washington Post emphasized what's being overlooked after spreading blame around to most everyone.

The country needs to know why Sgt. La David Johnson and three others came home in coffins, and that was where Trump should have started. We should also ask why we are engaged in the conflict that caused their death. We could discuss to what extent the president is responsible for either and to what extent any president is responsible for the deaths of soldiers during his time in the Oval Office.

Of course, soldiers’ deaths are political. If they weren’t, there would be no need for the president of the United States to make these phone calls in the first place. Public commentary on an overseas catastrophe is inevitable; there is no way to keep such a thing truly “sacred” when it is so intimately connected to our country and how it operates. But there are ways to talk about these deaths that don’t rob them of their meaning with a never-ending he said, she said.
To date, the White House has been ever ready to attack Congresswoman Wilson, but far more reticent to talk about Niger.

And let us not leave the subject without a mention of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' jaw-dropping response to a question about Kelly's dishonest account of Wilson's speech:

If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate.
Stifling dissent and questions does not make America great.

Erik Wemple got the episode — and Trump generally — just right:

It’s the autocratic mindset’s default response to accountability: intimidate.

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