NYT Reporter: John Kelly Lies a Lot

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

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Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman have a piece in the New York Times today about the travails of White House chief-of-staff John Kelly, who has been at the center of a surprising amount of unwelcome drama during his tenure:

He engaged in a heated back-and-forth with an African-American Democratic congresswoman, distorting statements she had made at a ceremony they both attended. He opined that the Civil War resulted from “the lack of an ability to compromise.” He said that Mr. Trump had not been “fully informed” about border issues as a candidate and had since “evolved,” drawing a public retort from the president. Mr. Kelly generated further heat this week when he dismissed many of the more than one million immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children but who did not apply for the protection of an Obama-era program that Mr. Trump ordered ended next month. Some of them “were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up,” he told reporters.

Now, of course, there’s Kelly’s flip-flop on Rob Porter, who he initially defended but then turned against. Kelly’s defenders claim this is because he learned new details about Porter’s spousal abuse, but Haberman takes to Twitter to suggest this probably isn’t so:

As Kelly allies insist he didn’t know details, which he has repeatedly said, it is worth noting he claimed he hadn’t repeatedly threatened to quit (he had), he claimed he wasn’t trying to disappear Kushner and Ivanka (he was) and he insisted a WaPo story on Trump and the Nunes memo was false (it wasn’t). As folks attack journalists, it’s worth bearing in mind the degree to which this White House often uses standard journalistic practices as weapons against journalists.

Translation: like everyone else in the White House, Kelly lies routinely, so there’s really no good reason to believe his latest CYA story. I guess you’re not allowed to say that in the news pages of the Times, but you can imply it on Twitter.

Now do you understand why I like Twitter so much?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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