Trump's former chief of staff against coast-to-coast wall
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 10, 2019,
Mar 10, 2019, 0:56
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton posted a GIF from Mean Girls on Tuesday evening, presumably responding to President Donald Trump lamenting that she would not seek another run at the presidency.
Wednesday was not the first time Kelly has appeared less than enthusiastic about the way Trump has framed his efforts to build the wall.
"When he can't think of anything to say, Trump starts chanting ["Lock her up"], and you sit there and you think, 'Does he think I was elected?'"
Kelly's claim is backed by some statistics: Undocumented immigrants were 16% less likely than native-born citizens to be convicted of murder in Texas in 2015, according to a case study by the CATO Institute, a libertarian think-tank. He later doubled down on his comments, saying people "just should have probably gotten off the couch and signed up".
Kelly left the White House amid Trump's now-infamous government shutdown, which lasted 35 days to become the longest in US history. He did say, however, that for eighteen months he "helped the administration, the president of the United States make the very best decisions that he could based on the information that we could provided him". He also laid some of the blame on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing the White House to be caught off-guard by the "zero tolerance policy".
But a March 2017 interview with CNN revealed that Kelly himself suggested separating families to deter unauthorized immigration.
In May 2018, Kelly told NPR that migrant children separated from their parents "will be taken care of ― put into foster care or whatever".
Overall, Kelly said that he served in the Trump administration out of a sense of duty, noting that he would have done the same thing under a Clinton administration.
In one question, Kelly was asked what advice he would give to his successor, to which he quickly replied, "Run for it".