Outgoing chief of staff John Kelly contradicts Trump in exit interview: ‘To be honest, it’s not a wall’



White Home chief of workers John Kelly, who is ready to depart the Trump administration inside days, flatly asserted in remarks printed Sunday that the president’s proposed border mission “will not be a wall” and that each one plans for a concrete wall have been deserted way back — immediately contradicting the White Home’s repeated claims.

In a collection of Twitter posts earlier this month, Trump insisted that “we aren’t constructing a Concrete Wall, we’re constructing artistically designed metal slats, so to simply see by it.” However Kelly’s feedback have been seemingly at odds with the president’s tweet on Friday calling for “cash to complete the Wall,” in addition to his guarantees throughout and after the 2016 presidential marketing campaign.

The connection between Trump and Kelly has reportedly deteriorated in current months. Trump introduced in early December that the retired four-star Marine basic would quickly “transfer on” regardless of beforehand suggesting he would stay within the put up by 2020.

“To be sincere, it’s not a wall,” Kelly mentioned in an interview with The Los Angeles Instances. “The president nonetheless says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended towards metal slats. However we left a stable concrete wall early on within the administration, after we requested folks what they wanted and the place they wanted it.”

Inside hours, the White Home pushed again on Kelly’s feedback by highlighting Trump’s earlier tweets on the subject.

A person seems out on the U.S. border the place staff are changing elements of the U.S. border wall for a better one, in Tijuana, Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Staff are reinforcing and altering items of the wall the place migrants searching for to succeed in the U.S. have been crossing. (AP Picture/Moises Castillo)

“I believe many individuals who do not wish to fess as much as border safety and get Congress to do its job and shut the loopholes insist it is a wall, wall, wall,” Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway advised CNN Sunday. “The president has mentioned, he mentioned final week, and he tweeted out footage of metal slats. Issues are already occurring in California by way of that.”

She added: “It actually relies on what Customs and Border Patrol says they want. And so they have mentioned they want boundaries. The president says a wall — boundaries, the president says they want metal slats. They want technological enhancements.”

However, reacting to the information second migrant youngster died this month whereas within the custody of U.S. officers, Trump seemingly steered that Border Patrol brokers do, the truth is, need a wall.

“To be sincere, it’s not a wall.”

— Outgoing chief of workers John Kelly

“The daddy of the younger lady mentioned it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days,” Trump wrote. “Border Patrol wants the Wall and it’ll all finish. They’re working so arduous & getting so little credit score!”

And on Sunday, Trump mentioned the U.S. wants a wall solely “barely bigger” than the one surrounding what he referred to as former President Obama’s “D.C. mansion/compound.”

The president additionally doubled down on his marketing campaign pledge that Mexico would fund the wall — and steered in an earlier tweet that he had stored that promise.

“Mexico is paying (not directly) for the Wall by the brand new USMCA, the alternative for NAFTA!” Trump wrote. “Far extra money coming to the U.S. Due to the great risks on the Border, together with massive scale legal and drug influx, the US Army will construct the Wall!”

Jakelin Caal, 7, and Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo have been every detained this month after coming into the U.S. with their undocumented fathers. Jakelin suffered from dehydration and shock, whereas Felipe died simply earlier than 11:50 p.m. on Christmas Eve after falling unwell with flu-like signs.

Felipe’s father, Agustin Gomez, had seized “the chance” to journey to the Mexico border in hopes of migrating to the U.S. after listening to a rumor, based on Felipe’s stepsister, Catarina Gomez Lucas.

“We heard rumors that they might go (into the US). They mentioned they might go with the kids,” Lucas advised the Related Press.

Fox Information has realized that behind the scenes this weekend, a number of senators are discussing a brand new potential compromise to finish the continued partial federal authorities shutdown. One bipartisan proposal is to supply $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall, in addition to a congressional reauthorization of the Obama-era Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for these delivered to the U.S. illegally as kids, together with another immigration provisions.

There has additionally been discuss a particular allowance for some courses of Central American refugees to be granted a extra sturdy asylum standing.

Chatting with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham steered compromise may very well be reached — however solely on one situation.

“To my Democratic associates: There’ll by no means be a deal with out wall funding,” Graham mentioned.

Individually, Kelly advised The Instances that he made positive that, opposite to critics’ claims, the president was at all times stored knowledgeable earlier than making key selections.

“It’s by no means been: The president simply needs to decide based mostly on no data and ignorance,” Kelly advised the paper. “You could not like his determination, however a minimum of he was totally knowledgeable on the influence.”

Kelly pointed to at least one potential main lifestlye change in retirement, noting that he at the moment works from four a.m. to 9 p.m., and has restricted freedom of motion.

“I’m guarded by the Secret Service. I can’t even go get a beer,” he joked.

Fox Information’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.


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