Donald Trump’s chief of staff, who lost a son in battle, has revealed he advised the President to use the phrase to console a widow which has triggered a major backlash. In an emotional press conference, John Kelly said he told Mr Trump to say the soldier “knew what he was getting into” because those words brought him comfort when grieving. Mr Kelly criticised the Congresswoman who had gone public with the remarks after listening to the phone call, saying he was “stunned” and “heart-broken” by the behaviour. He also issued a wider lament about the decline of values in America, saying religion and “the dignity of the life” were no longer “sacred”. The intervention eases the pressure on Mr Trump after a bruising few days that have seen his approach to consoling the families of America’s war dead in the spotlight. It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversationJohn Kelly, Donald Trump’s chief of staff However Mr Kelly did not discuss why Mr Trump initially denied saying the words or whether he was frustrated to have his personal tragedy dragged into the headlines. Speaking in the White House briefing room in an unscheduled appearance, Mr Kelly set the context for Mr Trump’s comments over recent days. He said that while all presidents send letters to the next of kin for US soldiers who die in service, they do not always put in telephone calls. Mr Kelly confirmed he had not received a phone call from Barack Obama when his son Robert Kelly was killed in 2010, but stressed the comment “was not a criticism”. He also revealed the advice he offered when Mr Trump decided – against Mr Kelly’s general advice – to call the families of the four US soldiers killed in Niger, West Africa. Mr Kelly recalled how a friend told him after his son died that “he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into.” It was Mr Trump’s use of a similar phrase this week, made public by the Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson who was in the car when the call was taken, that triggered a backlash in the media. Mr Kelly criticsed Ms Wilson for listening to the call. “It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. I thought that at least that was sacred,” he said. Donald Trump tells slain soldier’s widow: ‘He knew what he signed up for’ 00:37 “When I was a kid growing up a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred and looked upon with great honour. The dignity of life was sacred, that’s gone. “Religion, that seems to be gone as well … I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die in battle field, I just thought that that might be sacred.” The intervention puts Mr Trump’s remarks during the call – which have been condemned as callous by critics – in a different light. However it does not explain why Mr Trump said Mr Obama never made calls to relatives of soldiers killed in battle – the claim that kick-started the row and proved false. Nor does it address the fact that the mother of the fallen soldier, called La David Johnson, also said Mr Trump has showed “disrespect” in the call.
A woman who was brutally beaten, raped and kidnapped by the mixed martial artist known as War Machine is speaking out about the 2014 attack by her ex-boyfriend that led to his being sentenced to life in prison
By Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders on Thursday reaffirmed their full commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, hoping that the U.S. Congress would not let it collapse despite relentless criticism…
A cub scout in Colorado has been cast out of his den after he asked a state legislator pointed questions about racially charged comments she made about African-Americans in 2013 and a gun bill she co-sponsored.
Quentin Tarantino has said he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour towards women for decades and feels ashamed that he did not do more to stop it. The director, who has worked with Weinstein on all of his films, said he wished he had “taken responsibility” after hearing several credible stories from prominent actresses about Weinstein’s misconduct. “I knew enough to do more than I did,” he told the New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.” “I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.” Tarantino, the director of acclaimed films such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, said his former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, had told him that Weinstein had harassed her and touched her inappropriately. Quentin Tarantino arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Hateful Eight” at the Cinerama Dome on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 Credit: AP “What I did was marginalise the incidents,” he said. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.” He said that Weinstein had “horribly crossed the line” with Sorvino and that he was “shocked and appalled” by his behaviour. He then heard several other accounts of harassment and assault from other actresses. Tarantino said that Hollywood needed to take the situation more seriously because the industry had been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated. We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was.” Mira Sorvino Credit: Getty Tarantino broke his silence on the Weinstein scandal last week, saying in a statement that he was “stunned and heartbroken”. Members of staff at The Weinstein Company have reportedly branded the disgraced movie mogul a “monster” in a scathing letter about their former boss. Oscars Academy expels Harvey Weinstein 01:21 The statement, published by The New Yorker and signed by “Select Members of The Weinstein Company Staff”, said that the group did not know they were “working for a serial sexual predator”. Los Angeles police on Thursday evening said they were investigating a possible sexual assault case against Weinstein – the first involving the producer in the city. Police in New York and London are also investigating complaints against him. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. Weinstein Sex scandal
This is a backpack for your cat