Sarah Huckabee Sanders warns reporter not to question a 4-star general amid mounting John Kelly controversy
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sidestepped questions about the validity of chief of staff John Kelly’s claim that Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida had bragged about securing funds for an FBI field office in 2015.
“[Kelly] said there was a lot of grandstanding,” Sanders said during Friday’s White House press briefing. “He was stunned she had taken that opportunity to make it about herself.”
When pressed as to whether Kelly could elaborate further, Sanders said he “addressed that pretty thoroughly yesterday.”
But the reporter noted that the money was secured before Wilson was in Congress, which prompted Sanders to invoke Kelly’s military career.
“If you want to go after General Kelly that’s up to you but I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate,” Sanders said.
After Wilson suggested that President Donald Trump was inappropriate on a phone call with the widow of a US Special Forces soldier killed in Niger, Kelly criticized the Democratic congresswoman in an attempt to clarify the White House’s account of the call.
On Friday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel released a video of Wilson’s speech, which showed that she did not brag about securing the buildings funds, but did boast about rushing through Congress the renaming of the building in honor of two fallen FBI agents, Jerry L. Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan.
Old tweets posted by President Trump in which he attacked generals resurfaced Friday after the White House said it was “inappropriate” to criticize them.
I was never a fan of Colin Powell after his weak understanding of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq = disaster. We can do much better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2016
General John Allen, who I never met but spoke against me last night, failed badly in his fight against ISIS. His record = BAD #NeverHillary
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2016
Sanders shuts down Q on Kelly: "If you want to get into a debate with a 4-star marine general, I think that's highly inappropriate" pic.twitter.com/jF5pyafI4B
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 20, 2017