Recently, President Trump fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the US National Security Council. From Trump’s perspective, Vindman was fired because he misreported his “perfect” July phone call to Ukraine President Zelensky.
In his defense at a Drew University event last Wednesday, The Atlantic reported Retired Marine General John Kelly, the President’s former Chief of Staff said, “We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order.’ And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss.”
Kelly didn’t just defend Vindman, he also launched a series of attacks against Trump’s statements about migrants and the media. In a rebuke to Trump’s claim that the media is “the enemy of the people” Kelly said, “We need a free media.” Kelly also stood against Trump’s characterization of Mexican migrants at the start of his 2016 campaign. His exact words were, “In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people…They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way. I disagreed with the president a number of times.”
Kelly’s defense of Vindman is striking because of his often strong defense of the President while he worked for him. Lt. Col. Vindman will return to his role in the Pentagon.