On Saturday morning, MSNBC host Alex Witt played moderator to three guests who appeared on her show to discuss the lead-up to — and the fallout from — the domestic violence scandal that has rocked the White House over the last few days.
After photos surfaced of now ex-White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wife covered in bruises, along with a fresh round of allegations against him of abuse, the administration was forced to accept his resignation, although it was clear that no one, including the president, actually wanted him to leave.
One by one, the highest-ranking members of the inner circle defended Porter, including Trump himself, as recently as Saturday morning, when he pled for “due process” for the accused wife-beater — something he clearly is new to himself, after insisting for more than a decade after the Central Park Five were exonerated via DNA evidence that he still believed they were guilty.
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
But atop the entire scandal — and it feels rather cheap to call domestic abuse a “scandal,” but in this White House it barely registers as anything having gone wrong — is the seemingly imminent exodus of retired Marine General John F. Kelly, Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
Kelly was perhaps most vociferous in his defense of Porter, somewhat unsurprising given Kelly’s misjudgment of character in the past. And one of Alex Witt’s panelists had a pretty interesting theory about what’s behind the push to remove Kelly from his position. Republican strategist Rick Tyler, when asked by Witt why the president himself seems to suffer no “blowback” from yet another vile development inside his White House, said:
I think people are trying to put this on John Kelly. I actually think that Ivanka and Jared would like to see John Kelly go because he has been somewhat successful in diminishing their role and influence and their access to their father and father-in-law for things that they would like to get done on their agenda.”
That would be an incredible revelation if true, and honestly, with reports that it may actually be Jared who is reading written intelligence briefings as Donald refuses to accept anything other than oral reports, it is pretty likely that Jared and Ivanka wield much more power in the administration than even investigators or the media are aware of.
Watch the video exchange here:
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images