Rep. Barbara Lee was in backtrack mode on Sunday, attempting to worm her way out of calling new White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly an “extremist” who will militarize the White House.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper confronted Lee about the comments, for which she received colossal backlash on social media.
“First of all, there are those who say people who served in the military should be able to integrate back into society,” Tapper challenged. “But second of all, why is he, and perhaps most importantly, why do you think he’s an extremist?”
“Well, let me first say, I come from a military family,” Lee began. ”My dad served in World War II, in Korea, and so I respect and honor the military and recognize the sacrifices that all of our military men and women make, as well as General Kelly and his history and his sacrifices.”
But she reinforced her stance that Gen. Kelly is an “extremist.”
“What I’m talking about is his tenure as Homeland Security secretary and the very extreme policies of promoting family dislocation, deportation of innocent men and women and children, breaking up families, promoting a Muslim ban, promoting a wall between the United States an Mexico. Those are extreme policies.
“And so this is very troublesome to me, to have this kind of power now centralized in the White House because these are very serious matters and these are extreme policies,” she said.
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Some people might call what Gen. Kelly did, enforcing the law. They might also realize that the “extreme policies” Lee refers to are the very issues the citizens of the United States voted for in the presidential election that brought President Trump to power.
Among those who hammered the California representative for her slight against Gen. Kelly was Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro.
On her show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday, Pirro pointed out that Lee was the only member of Congress to oppose the use of military force against terrorists after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A vote that passed 420 – 1.
Pirro also mentioned the time Lee “actually put up a member of the Communist Party to name a post office after.” It “was the only time that the naming of a post office was actually defeated in Congress.”
“Barbara, your kind of crazy puts all Americans at risk,” Pirro said.
“As we face a nuclear-powered North Korea, Iran, and others who want to destroy this great nation, there is no better person, no better leader, no one more knowledgeable to help the president run the West Wing of the White House than Gen. John Kelly.
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