The ex-US national security advisor, John Bolton, defended the former Trump-appointed White House chief of staff, John Kelly, who has been bullied in a series of tweets on Thursday by US President Donald Trump.
Bolton, absent from Twitter for over 10 days, broke his silence, following what he characterizes as “baseless attacks” by the president against Kelly, tweeting on Thursday that the former top White House official is “an honorable man” and “has always served his country faithfully”.
John Kelly is an honorable man. John and I have disagreed at times, as is commonplace at senior government levels, but he has always served his country faithfully. Conservatives especially have a responsibility to reject baseless attacks upon him.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 13, 2020
Earlier on Thursday, Trump again verbally attacked retired Marine general Kelly, who has recently criticized the POTUS on a variety of issues. The president tweeted that Kelly came to the White House “with a bang” and went out of “with a whimper”, further accusing the former official because he did not “keep his mouth shut” after being publicaly fired by Trump.
....which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do. His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that “John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you.” Wrong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
On Wednesday, Kelly, during an event at Drew University, said that he believes key impeachment witness Alexander Vindman, fired by Trump from the National Security Council last week, was correct to report the president’s “illegal” pressure on Ukraine, pointing out that “[Vindman] did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” according to The Atlantic.
"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 said, according to reports.
Kelly served as the White House chief of staff from July 2017 to January 2019. Prior to that, he served as Trump's first Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Vindman testified against Trump in the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, started by Democrats in the House of Representatives over reports that the president tried to get Ukraine to investigate allegations of corrupt business practices by Trump's purported 2020 Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden's son Hunter, in exchange for releasing military aid previously earmarked for Kiev. The president was later acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate of the two impeachment charges; abuse of power and obstruction to Congress.