WASHINGTON — Since retired Gen. John Kelly became White House chief of staff, news outlets have portrayed him as the disciplinarian sent to impose order over an unruly President Donald Trump. Kelly rejects that scenario — when it comes to taming, he has other fish to fry.
To wit, at Thursday’s press briefing, Kelly tongue-lashed the usually feisty White House press corps so relentlessly that in 18 minutes he reduced the usually swaggering scribes and talking heads into shamed silence.
After Kelly slammed reporters for taking a “sacred” moment — the notification of family when a military member is killed in action — and turning it into a cable-news chew toy, after he pointed out the thankless toil of the 1 percent of Americans who serve in the military and after he directed members of the media to raise their hands if they knew any Gold Star families, Kelly offered one final salvo.
“We don’t look down upon those of you who haven’t served,” Kelly closed. “In fact, in a way, we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kind of things our servicemen and women do. Not for any other reason than they love this country.”
Kelly’s trip to the podium was a rescue mission of sorts designed to extricate Trump from another media mud pit of his own making.
It started Monday when Trump strolled into the Rose Garden with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player in the GOP effort to pass a tax-cut bill….