Archive for the ‘John Kelly’ category

John Kelly blocking Breitbart, Daily Caller articles from reaching Donald Trump: Report

September 2, 2017

John Kelly blocking Breitbart, Daily Caller articles from reaching Donald Trump: Report, Washington Times

(On and on it goes; where (and if) it stops nobody knows. — DM)


In this July 31, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump talks with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after he was privately sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump in Washington.

Mr. Kelly formally laid out the new review process in a pair of memos issued last month, Politico reported, “designed to ensure that the president won’t see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven’t been vetted.”

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President Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, has curtailed the flow of conservative-media reports reaching his boss amid a bid to block his access to unvetted articles, according to The New York Times.

Hardly one month into his tenure as Mr. Trump’s latest chief of staff, Mr. Kelly has made a noticeable impact on the president by reducing the number of right-wing news articles making their way to the oval office, The Times reportedFriday.

Mr. Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets,” the Times reported.

“Now Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were,” conservative websites typically supportive of the administration and its policies, the report said.

Mr. Trump’s chief of staff hasn’t entirely curbed conservative news from reaching the president, however. “Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering,” according to The Times.

The president appeared to respond to The Times report Friday, tweeting: “General John Kelly is doing a great job as Chief of Staff.”

“I could not be happier or more impressed — and this administration continues to get things done at a record clip. Many big decisions to be made over the coming days and weeks. AMERICA FIRST!” the president tweeted.

Mr. Trump is routinely given packages of a printed-out articles, the White House acknowledged last month, but multiple reports have called into question the quality of the content the commander in chief regularly peruses. Mr. Bannon admitted in May that an uncorroborated article smearing the deputy chief of staff at the time was shared throughout the West Wing, and Axios indicated last week that Mr. Kelly was working to prevent the flow of articles from the likes of Infowars, the far-right website managed by noted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Mr. Kelly formally laid out the new review process in a pair of memos issued last month, Politico reported, “designed to ensure that the president won’t see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven’t been vetted.”

An Ideological Coup against Trump?

August 30, 2017

An Ideological Coup against Trump? American ThinkerShoula Romano Horing, August 30, 2017

(If President Trump won’t defend himself and his policies from the ideological coup waged by his appointees, who will? Who can? — DM)

As replacements for those fired, McMaster appointed individuals who are friendly with Obama-era ideologues who blame Israel for Palestinian terror, encourage negotiations with Hamas and are obsessed with the plan for Palestinian statehood. 

In addition, just before Trump’s visit to Israel, McMaster erroneously publicly claimed  that the President would recognize “Palestinian Self-determination“ and refused to state that the Western Wall,  one the holiest Jewish sites,  and the last remnant of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple, is in Israel and insisted that Netanyahu could not accompany Trump to the site after failing to convince the President not to visit there.

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See also: Bolton and Gorka both say they are locked out of the White House

As an Israeli who supports Trump and attended Trump’s inauguration to celebrate his win, I read with a heavy heart the reports leaking out of the White House that Sebastian Gorka did not resign but was forced out of his position as a security advisor to the President by General H.R. McMaster and General John Kelly.

Mr. Gorka is the seventh Trump loyalist McMaster has forced out in recent months from the President’s National Security Team.  All have been attempting to carry out President Trump’s campaign promises to combat Iranian and radical Islamist terrorist threats, and to support Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Gorka was the third Trump loyalist forced out since General John F. Kelly, an old military colleague of McMaster, was appointed to be the chief of staff and reportedly encouraged McMaster to make any staffing changes he deems necessary.

If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it is a duck.  Maybe it does not sound yet like a “purge” and an ideological coup, but it is starting to look like one, engineered by Generals McMaster and Kelly. It is designed to eliminate President Trump’s national security agenda of support to Israel, opposition to the Iran deal, and determination to name and combat radical Islamist terrorism.

On Friday, in a letter reported by the Federalist, Sebastian Gorka’s explained his “resignation” by expressing his unhappiness with the direction that the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken as signaled by the President’s recent speech on Afghanistan. Gorka stated:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself (President Trump), the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan…. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a critical element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”

On Sunday, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Gorka offered harsh criticism of McMaster’s stance towards Islamists saying:

“McMaster sees the threat of Islam through an Obama administration lens, meaning that religion has nothing to do with the war we are in.… He believes and he told me in his office that these people are just criminals.”

A source close to the White House said that after Bannon was forced out, anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic roadblocks to undermine Gorka internally.

Yahoo News reported that Kelly revoked Gorka’s security clearance, making it difficult if not impossible for him to continue his job. Other news outlets reported that Kelly has been restricting access to Trump as McMaster’s detractors are trying to reach the president.

In his short term at the National Security Council (NSC), General McMaster has fired or forced out from the National Security Team, including the NSC, strong pro-Israel and anti-Iran officials such as Steve Bannon, K.T. McFarland, Adam Lovinger, Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and now Sebastian Gorka.

General McMaster quickly removed Bannon, the engineer of much of President Trump’s pro-Israel, anti-Islamist terrorism agenda, from the Principals Committee of the NSC. McMaster also removed K.T. McFarland, a veteran pro-Israel national security professional in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations and a key member of the team of Iran deal opponents originally gathered by Trump. Lovinger, a pro-Israel national security strategist from the Pentagon, was returned to the Pentagon with his security clearance revoked.

McMaster also fired Iran “hawk” Rich Higgins, the NSC’s director of strategic planning, after Higgins wrote a memo about personnel opposed to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda in the NSC.  McMaster also fired Derek Harvey, a senior director and expert on the Middle East and one of the best intelligence analysts on Iraq, after Harvey prepared a list of NSC Obama-era holdovers to be fired for leaking national security information to the press.  Instead, other conservatives were fired, such as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a strong opponent of the Iran deal, who tried to intensify efforts to counter Iran in the Middle East and controlled officials opposed to the president’s policies.

As replacements for those fired, McMaster appointed individuals who are friendly with Obama-era ideologues who blame Israel for Palestinian terror, encourage negotiations with Hamas and are obsessed with the plan for Palestinian statehood.

As David Steinberg from PJ Media wrote, “Indeed, one is hard-pressed to identify a member of the NSC brought in by McMaster with a history of aligning with President Trump on Iran or with his Mideast policy or by his willingness to treat Islamic doctrine as the root cause of terror and related Mideast strife.”

But such nominations are not surprising if one understands McMaster’s own beliefs. He advised the president to certify that Iran is in compliance with the Iran deal, saying that Iran is merely violating the Iran deal’s “spirit” despite German intelligence reports that Iran is cheating and Trump’s promise to tear up or strictly enforce the Iran deal and punish violations.  Iran has refused to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors into the Parchin nuclear facility or to interview Iran’s nuclear scientists, and has repeatedly tested intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Following the Obama administration’s practices, McMaster opposes using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” saying that the term isn’t helpful for U.S. goals because it does not help the U.S. in working with allies to defeat terrorist groups.“

Moreover, the general said that Jihadists terrorists aren’t true to their religion and terrorist organizations like ISIS represent a perversion of Islam and are thus un-Islamic

In addition, just before Trump’s visit to Israel, McMaster erroneously publicly claimed  that the President would recognize “Palestinian Self-determination“ and refused to state that the Western Wall,  one the holiest Jewish sites,  and the last remnant of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple, is in Israel and insisted that Netanyahu could not accompany Trump to the site after failing to convince the President not to visit there.

President Trump must wake up and realize the damage that Generals Kelly and McMaster are inflicting on his policies and on those who have been loyal to his ideology. President Trump should know that Israeli history is littered with heroic generals on the battlefield who were weak appeasers in national security when they became prime ministers, such as Israeli chiefs of staff Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.  He should realize that just because they are generals they are not necessarily the right advisors to implement Trump’s tough-minded agenda.

Shoula Romano Horing is an Israeli born and raised attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com      

 

CAIR Condemns Chief of Staff Kelly

August 2, 2017

CAIR Condemns Chief of Staff Kelly, Clarion ProjectRyan Mauro, August 2, 2017

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP / Getty Images) Images)

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization identified by the Justice Department as a Muslim Brotherhood front, condemned new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for his “Islamaphobic ideology.”

Kelly previously led the Department of Homeland Security for the Trump Administration. During his time as secretary, the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties thanked CAIR’s Florida chapter in a letter that the author claimed was written at the request of General Kelly.

As we stated in our July 30 article, it is very possible Kelly did not actually ask for the letter to CAIR to be written and it was just a normal procedure meant to flatter the recipients. Nonetheless, the letter still shows DHS’ embrace of CAIR was not ended during Kelly’s six-month tenure and is worth bringing to your attention.

CAIR’s New York branch responded to his promotion to Chief of Staff this way:

Kelly successfully led U.S. forces in Iraq in fighting Islamist and Baathist extremists to protect American national security. In pursuit of that objective, his forces suffered death, injury and trauma to protect and fight alongside Iraqi Muslims. His own son sacrificed his life in Afghanistan in 2010 doing the same for Afghan Muslims. Kelly’s eulogy four days after his son’s death is a must-read.

Let’s stack that record up against CAIR’s.

CAIR officials questioned whether to honor fallen American servicemen and women on Memorial Day, enraging pro-American Muslims in the process without losing their positions.

CAIR regularly attacks the anti-Islamist Muslims who would do the most to debunk the supposed “Islamophobia” CAIR purports to rail against.

CAIR was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood front that was discovered to be financing Hamas. The Justice Department said the Holy Land Foundation and CAIR are branches of the Muslim Brotherhood’s secret Palestine Committee overseeing covert aid to Hamas.

CAIR’s New York chapter is an especially radical part of the organization. Its officials have supported Hamas’ acts of terrorism, spread anti-American propaganda on Iranian regime-controlled TV, rooted for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and engaged in anti-police bigotry.

When it comes to patriotism, integrity and doing dangerous work to protect the free world (and, in the process, protecting Muslims in the Middle East), CAIR can’t hold a candle to General Kelly.

Trump and his generals

June 22, 2017

Trump and his generals, Washington TimesVictor Davis Hanson, June 21, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

[T]he three generals are beholden to Mr. Trump for a historic opportunity to shape America’s security posture in ways impossible during the last half-century.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump must recognize that such generals lend credibility to his role as commander in chief and signal that he is wise enough to value merit over politics.

At least for now, it is a win-win-win solution for Mr. Trump, the generals — and the country.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Donald Trump earned respect from the Washington establishment for appointing three of the nation’s most accomplished generals to direct his national security policy: James Mattis (secretary of defense), H.R. McMaster (national security adviser) and John Kelly (secretary of homeland security).

In the first five months of the Trump administration, the three generals — along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO — have already recalibrated America’s defenses.

At home, illegal immigration is down by some 70 percent. Abroad, a new policy of principled realism seeks to re-establish deterrence through credible threats of retaliation. The generals are repairing old friendships with allies and neutrals while warning traditional enemies not to press their luck.

President Trump has turned over most of the details of military operations to his generals. According to his critics, Mr. Trump is improperly outsourcing to his generals both strategic decision-making and its tactical implementation.

But is Mr. Trump really doing that?

In his campaign, Mr. Trump vowed to avoid new ground wars while not losing those he inherited. He pledged to wipe out ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism without invading Middle Eastern countries to turn them into democracies.

Those are wide but nonetheless unmistakable parameters.

Within them, the U.S. military can drop a huge bomb on the Taliban, strike the chemical weapons depots of Syria’s Bashar Assad, or choose the sort of ships it will use to deter North Korean aggression — without Mr. Trump poring over a map, or hectoring Gen. Mattis or Gen. McMaster about what particular move is politically appropriate or might poll well.

Other presidents have done the same.

A wartime President Lincoln — up for re-election in 1864 — wanted the tottering Confederacy invaded and humiliated. But he had no idea that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman would interpret that vague wish as nearly destroying Atlanta, and then cutting his supply lines to march across Georgia to the sea at Savannah.

When Sherman pulled off the March to the Sea, Lincoln confessed that he had been wrongly skeptical of, totally surprised and utterly delighted with Sherman’s victories. He then left it to Sherman and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to plan the final campaign of the war.

Had Sherman lost his army in the wilds of Georgia, no doubt Lincoln would have relieved him, as he did so many of his other failed generals.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt demanded a cross-channel invasion of France by mid-1944. He did not worry much about how it was to be implemented.

The generals and admirals of his Joint Chiefs handled Roosevelt’s wish by delegating the job to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and his Anglo-American staff.

Had Eisenhower failed on the Normandy beaches, Roosevelt likely would have fired him and others.

Other critics complain that decorated heroes such as Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly should not stoop to work for a firebrand like Mr. Trump.

The very opposite is true.

Anti-New Dealers such as Republicans Henry Stimson and Frank Knox served in the Roosevelt administration to ensure national unity and expertise during World War II — in much the same manner that old George W. Bush hand Robert Gates stayed on as secretary of defense to advise foreign policy novice Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump entered office with no formal political or military experience. That does not mean his business skills and innate cunning are not critical in setting national security policy — only that he benefits from the wise counsel of veterans.

The patriotic duty for men the caliber of these three generals was to step forward and serve their commander in chief — and thereby ensure that the country would have proven professionals carrying out the president’s recalibrations.

Of course, there must be tensions between the Trump administration, its Democratic opponents and the largely apolitical Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly, who have enjoyed high commands under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Liberals want the generals to leak to the press and hint that Mr. Trump is a dunce whose blunders force wise men like themselves to clean up the mess.

Republicans prefer the three to get on board the Trump team and appoint only conservatives who will resonate administration values.

In truth, Mr. Trump and his generals share a quid pro quo relationship that so far has worked.

Gens. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly must know that few other presidents would have taken the heat to entrust three military men to guide national security policy. And even if another president did, he might not empower them with anything like their president latitude.

In that regard, the three generals are beholden to Mr. Trump for a historic opportunity to shape America’s security posture in ways impossible during the last half-century.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump must recognize that such generals lend credibility to his role as commander in chief and signal that he is wise enough to value merit over politics.

At least for now, it is a win-win-win solution for Mr. Trump, the generals — and the country.

Trump’s Pick for DHS Secretary Warned About Iranian Infiltration of South America

December 7, 2016

Trump’s Pick for DHS Secretary Warned About Iranian Infiltration of South America, Washington Free Beacon, December 7, 2016

gestures with retired US Marine Corp General John Kelly Donald Trump prospective cabinet members at Trump International Golf Club, New Jersey, USA - 20 Nov 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Trump gestures with retired US Marine Corp General John Kelly Donald Trump prospective cabinet members at Trump International Golf Club, New Jersey, USA – 20 Nov 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security has been warning for some time about Iranian influence along America’s southern border and in South America in another sign that the incoming administration is seeking to tackle the Islamic Republic’s terrorist footprint from its first days in office.

Retired Gen. John Kelly, a former commander of U.S. Southern Command, has been sounding the alarm about Iran’s efforts to counter U.S. influence in Central and South America, according to past testimony.

Kelly is expected to focus on this issue when he takes over DHS, which has been plagued by criticism about its failed attempts to seal the southern border under the Obama administration.

The selection follows a line of high-profile picks by Trump who are known for their outspoken criticism of Iran and the Obama administration’s diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.

Kelly, during his time as Southcom’s commander, informed Congress last year that Iran is bolstering its ties with Latin American countries in order to use the region as a base for operations.

“Over the last 15 years Iran has periodically sought closer ties with regional governments, albeit with mixed results,” Kelly said in testimony to Congress in March 2015. “Iranian legislators visited Cuba, Ecuador, and Nicaragua to advocate for increased economic and diplomatic cooperation. Iran’s outreach is predicated on circumventing sanctions and countering U.S. influence.”

Iran is building “cultural centers” in these countries to build support for its radical ideology among local Muslim populations, according to Kelly.

“Iran has established more than 80 ‘cultural centers’ in a region with an extremely small Muslim population,” he said. “The purported purpose of these centers is to improve Iran’s image, promote Shi’a Islam, and increase Iran’s political influence in the region. As the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, Iran’s involvement in the region and these cultural centers is a matter for concern, and its diplomatic, economic, and political engagement is closely monitored.”

Kelly has also warned that Hezbollah, a terror organization primarily funded by Iran, has been building support in Latin America. Kelly said terrorist organizations could exploit the porous southern border to infiltrate the United States.

“Members, supporters, and adherents of Islamic extremist groups are present in Latin America,” including Hezbollah, Kelly said in 2014.

Kelly described Iran’s presence in the region as “a matter for concern.”

Trump’s selection of Kelly is winning early support from congressional Republicans who have worked with the former commander.

“In my capacity as chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I have worked firsthand with Gen. Kelly on numerous Western Hemisphere security issues during his tenure as the head of the Southern Command,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), said in a statement. “He fully understands the threats from ISIS, Iran’s activities in South and Central America, as well as the risks America faces due to our porous southern border.”

“General Kelly has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the threats facing our country in the 21st Century, and I am confident he will help the president-elect form a robust strategy to protect America from radical Islamic extremism here at home, protecting American sovereignty and dealing with the numerous security issues here in the homeland,” Duncan said.

One source in direct contact with the Trump transition team told the Washington Free Beacon that Kelly brings direct experience with Iran’s infiltration of South America.

“General Kelly is an outstanding national security pick. It’s another sign the Trump administration knows exactly how Iran has been destabilizing countries and sowing terror across the globe,” the source said. “The Obama administration too often turned a blind eye to Iranian activities on U.S. soil, and even downplayed an Iranian terror plot to launch an attack in Washington, D.C. Clearly the Trump administration is signaling that it will do exactly the opposite, and will target Iranian aggression across all areas of national security.”

Trump chooses Kelly to lead homeland security

December 7, 2016

Trump chooses Kelly to lead homeland security, Washington ExaminerKeith Koffler, December 7, 2016

trumpkellyPresident-elect Donald Trump talks to media as he stands with retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, right, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to be secretary of homeland security, putting yet another general into a key national security post, according to reports.

Trump has already made Marine Gen. James Mattis his defense secretary and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn his national security adviser, and he is considering retired Army Gen. David Petraeus for secretary of state.

Kelly, 66, is not expected to face difficulty being confirmed, according to the Post. He is viewed as a border security hawk who will please Trump backers looking for the president-elect to follow through on vows to limit immigration.