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Morning Briefing: This Was Donald Trump's Fault from the Very Beginning; Don't Forget That

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 20, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 20, 2017 |

I just want to say this, and then I’ll post some funny, insightful or thoughtful tweets:

This is all Donald Trump’s fault. Donald Trump is why General John Kelly had to get up in front of America yesterday and talk about his dead son. Donald Trump is why the press is calling dozens of Gold Star families and asking them whether Trump called them. Donald Trump is why Frederica Wilson is getting dragged by the right. All of this is Donald Trump’s fault.

There was no reason to politicize the death of Sgt. La David Johnson. Donald Trump is fucking garbage with other human beings, but there was no reason for us to know that in this context (there’s plenty of other contexts in which we already know that). The death of a soldier should never have become a political football for either side.

But Donald Trump opened this can of worms. He opened this can of worms by lying about how President Obama handled the death of soldiers. He opened this up by saying that he calls every family of a slain soldier. You don’t get to just say things, Donald, without being fact-checked. I don’t blame the media for this — they were doing their jobs. It’s like when a murder suspect puts himself on the stand: He opens himself up for cross-examination, and a good attorney doesn’t just let the defendant say what he wants to say and step off the stand. He gets grilled. Donald Trump put the issue of calling the families of dead soldiers on the stand, and he never, ever should have done that. If he hadn’t, then 1) he probably never even would have called Myeshia Johnson in the first place, because he wouldn’t have felt pressure to do so (which would have been best for her, ultimately), and 2) if he had, the press wouldn’t have given any attention to what Trump said because it wasn’t an issue, and 3) General John Kelly never would have had to use his own son’s death as a political shield for the President.

I’m kind of horrified by this whole thing, and I agree with General Kelly: This never should have been brought up. Where I disagree with Kelly is how he blames Representative Wilson. She did absolutely nothing wrong. It was Trump who opened this issue up for scrutiny, and God bless his service and sacrifice, but it was really shitty of General Kelly to use the death of his son, and of soldiers, to attack a Congresswoman who was hurt by the insensitive remarks of the President, especially because John Kelly knows that Trump was going to be insensitive, because that’s all he knows. That’s why Kelly told him not to make the call in the first place.

Anyway, here are a couple of tweets about this that I loved:

Not this tweet:

But Favreau’s response:

Here, again, is Clarke:

But as Tapper reminds us:

And just FYI: A lot of what Kelly said yesterday about Wilson was just outright lies. He used his position to tell untruths and denigrate a Congresswoman, and while he is certainly more articulate in doing so, it’s right out of the Trump playbook.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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