“The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it’s more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life,” the retired Marine general has told friends, CNN has learned.
The reporting comes from a new CNN special to air Sunday night, “The Insiders: A Warning from Former Trump Officials,” in which former senior administration officials — including former national security adviser John Bolton, former Health and Human Services scientist Rick Bright and former Department of Homeland Security general counsel John Mitnick — explain why they think the President is unfit for office.
Kelly’s sentiments about the President’s transactional nature and dishonesty have been shared by other former members of the Trump administration who also appear in the special.
Olivia Troye, a former top adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, has said the President knew about the impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on the US by mid-February, but that “he didn’t want to hear it, because his biggest concern was that we were in an election year.” Miles Taylor, a former DHS chief of staff who now serves as a CNN contributor, has asserted Trump essentially calls individuals within the federal government who disagree with him “deep state.”
Elizabeth Neumann, another former DHS official, has criticized Trump for not condemning White supremacy.
“The fact that he continues to not be able to just point-blank say, ‘I condemn White supremacy.’ It boggles the mind,” she told CNN in September.
Kelly, who left the White House under contentious circumstances in January 2019, has occasionally voiced criticisms of the Trump administration since leaving his post.
In June, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police and Trump’s response to the subsequent protests and calls for racial justice, Kelly said he agreed with former Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis’ stark warning that Trump is “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people.” Kelly said he would have cautioned Trump against the idea of using law enforcement to clear Lafayette Square of protesters ahead of the President’s now infamous photo op in front of a nearby church. Kelly has also said he believes Bolton’s allegation that Trump told the former national security adviser that US security aid to Ukraine was conditioned on an investigation of the President’s political rivals.
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