James Mattis

Kelly, whose son died in combat, defends president's call to Gold Star widow, and slams congresswoman

Kelly, whose son died in combat, defends president's call to Gold Star widow, and slams congresswoman

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly unequivocally defended President Donald Trump's calls to the families of four fallen soldiers, on Thursday using his credibility as a retired general who lost a son on the battlefield to try to help his boss contain a public relations crisis.

In an extraordinary, emotional appearance in the White House briefing room, Kelly described in painful detail the trauma of losing service members. He also excoriated a Democratic congresswoman for publicizing her account of Trump's call Tuesday with the widow of one of the four young men killed in an ambush in Niger.

The former homeland security secretary said that Trump had sought his counsel this...

54°