Americans are shocked by President Donald Trump’s regarding the violence on “both sides” during the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend, in which neo-Nazis and white supremacists openly displayed symbols of hate.
Critics on both sides of the aisle and outside of Washington have taken the president to task for his callous remarks in the aftermath of a deadly car attack at the hate rally that left one dead and 19 others wounded.
But one reaction that really stood out wasn’t the loudest or most obvious, and it came from one of Trump’s closest advisers.
Recently-appointed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was on hand at Trump Tower Tuesday for Trump’s press conference, but he appeared anything but comfortable with his boss’ stance on the issue.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 15, 2017
Kelly, a retired Marine Corps General who was originally Trump’s pick for Secretary of Homeland Security, was brought into his current role to help discipline a toxic White House culture. He did not appear to be happy with how Trump handled the matter.
Here are more angles of Kelly’s uncomfortable body language as his boss denied that there were many neo-Nazis among the protesters, which he said included some “very fine people.”
John Kelly during the President's Q and A at Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/vxR3hTUqe3
— Kristin Donnelly (@kristindonnelly) August 15, 2017
John Kelly, WH chief of staff, listen as President Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower lobby this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/EBNPx1UJbv
— Al Drago (@Al_Drago) August 15, 2017
According to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, Trump’s staff had initially told her that the president wouldn’t be taking questions from the press after his speech on infrastructure policy — which was the original intent of the press conference — but it appeared he had overruled his advisors
We had been told Potus wasn't doing questions. He chose to overrule staff
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 15, 2017
And already, there are reports from inside the administration that Kelly was unhappy with how the press conference played out.
John Kelly is frustrated with how today played out, sources tell @SaraMurray.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 15, 2017