A Barrel of Gaffes

From the Sun Sentinel:

On her fourth day at the center of a struggle with President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said Friday she has no regrets about anything she’s done or said this week — and said she’s amazed at what’s transpired.

Wilson received major vindication Friday with video showing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was completely wrong about claims he made about the South Florida congresswoman.

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Original DVD cover

In an appearance Thursday at the White House, Kelly delivered a broadside against Wilson, a Democrat who has represented parts of Miami-Dade and South Broward since 2011. Kelly told a story he claimed he witnessed involving her in 2015 — in an attempt to discredit Wilson’s actions this week in her dispute with the president over the way Trump spoke with a constituent of hers, a woman whose husband was one of four soldiers killed in an ambush this month in Niger.

Kelly on Thursday described the 2015 dedication of a new South Florida FBI headquarters in Miramar, which he attended. Kelly, a Marine Corps general at the time, was at the event in his role as the head of the U.S. Southern Command.

Wilson detracted from the event, he said, when she “stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President [Barack] Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.”

Exclusive video from the South Florida Sun Sentinel of the event shows Kelly’s account was not true.

What Wilson did at the dedication was take credit for the fast-track approval of legislation — sought by the FBI — to name the building for FBI agents Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove, who were killed in a 1986 gunfight with two people who had robbed armored trucks and banks and murdered several people.


She also lavished praise on Republican colleagues, including then-House Speaker John Boehner.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders maintained the administration’s criticism of Wilson’s remarks at the dedication — even after the Sun Sentinel posted video showing Kelly’s account was inaccurate. Sanders repeated Kelly’s assertion that he was “stunned” that Wilson talked about what she had done in Congress. “As Gen. Kelly pointed out, if you’re able to make a sacred act like honoring American heroes about yourself, you’re an empty barrel,” Sanders said in a statement.

More than half of Wilson’s remarks, which last 9 minutes and 15 seconds, were devoted to praising the fallen FBI agents and others who work in law enforcement. “Stand up. We are proud of you. We are proud of their courage.” She spent less than three minutes talking about the path of the naming legislation and about a minute and a half introducing dignitaries at the event.


On Trump’s first full day of office, he visited CIA headquarters and gave a long, campaign-style speech during which he complained about news coverage and bragged about the size of the crowd at his inauguration – in front of the wall of stars representing the 117 CIA agents killed in the line of duty. Sanders said Friday that Wilson’s remarks at the FBI building dedication were somehow different from Trump’s remarks at the CIA headquarters.


Wilson said she was honored to play the role she did, at the request of then FBI Director James Comey, who was also at the dedication.


Sanders dismissed a reporter who wanted to know if Kelly would appear to answer questions about what he said about Wilson. “If you want to get in a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s simply highly inappropriate.”

She also suggested Wilson said things on the day of the 2015 building dedication that weren’t part of the formal program. “There was a lot of grandstanding.”

Edmundo “Ed” Mireles Jr., another former agent wounded that day, attended the building dedication. He said he remembers the ceremony, though not Wilson’s exact words. “Everybody I spoke to from the bureau told me that the building could not have been dedicated to Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove without her assistance,” he said. “I do remember her telling her little story and how she went through the process and pushed it through. I didn’t take it as anything other than ‘it was a hard road, I helped and assisted.”




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13 responses to “A Barrel of Gaffes

  1. Won’t be around much tomorrow, so I posted this early. Hope that doesn’t make me an empty barrel.

  2. Yea, yea, Ms Sanders, you who also lies like a barrel of snakes. Kelly needs to clean his brain and get some moral fiber but I imagine he is lying like his boss in order to keep his job. He is evil like Model T and has sold his soul to the highest bidder.

    We who have a bit of common sense and decency know that the WH and its current occupant is a full blown nut case and a habitual liar and everyone around him has been corrupted. How do those people live with themselves and sleep at night?

    • I hope, like Little Seanie, Sarah will never be employable again after this stint as Twitler’s Josephine Goebbels. Sarah is not pretty or thin enough for Faux News, so I guess she’ll have to go back to the family’s grifting ways.

      • yep it looks as if Spicer has yet to find a job. Could he be working on a book? Possibly but I fear that Model had all his “people” sign a contract forbidding them to tell all, Yep, she is not thin enough, not chesty enough and, is not a fake blond like the bimbos on Faux news. Love the word grifting.

  3. the loony tic

    too bad kelly opened his mouth. i had respect for him for about two minutes.

    • When he didn’t have a statement condemning the remarks Twitler made about Charlottesville, There was a big chink in his armor after that press conference where he assured everyone that everything is hunky dory at the White House behind the scenes. After this press conference, any respect I might have had is completely gone. I’ll honor his son for making the supreme sacrifice, but not him. He knows nothing about patriotism is he aids and abets this dangerous orange shithead. Not to mention that he’s not very bright. The idiots at the White House keep dissing African-American women. They are the most reliable voters evah, and pissing them off is the dumbest thing you can do. Well, one of the dumbest. I don’t think we’ve seen the dumbest thing yet from this clusterfuck of an administration.

  4. Hey nonnie, I wanted to believe that we had someone who would act like an adult. Really, I did. Now I’m wondering if the insanity of tRump is contagious, Kelly followed his actions perfectly, name-calling and lying. And Sanders? She is perfecting hers.

    • I wondering which is the biggest problem in this White House–insanity, inanity, racism, arrogance, delusions or stupidity. Maybe it’s a big steaming mixture of all of them. This could all have ended with one simple phone call or announcement. “Mrs. Johnson, I am so sorry that I didn’t choose my words carefully enough. I just wanted you to know that I am grateful to your husband, and the nation is as well.”

  5. All this from a condolence call. Can’t these people do the simplest thing without generating a five-alarm national controversy?

    Amazing that Kelly didn’t bother to get his facts straight before speaking up. For all we know, we may still owe him for talking Trump out of blowing up Korea, but his public reputation is in tatters now except among the “fake news” Trumpanzees.

    • Amazing, isn’t it? It doesn’t take a genius to relay your condolences. It just takes a human being. That’s where they fell short. Kelly is a shithead. His phone call about his son was from his friend. It was one soldier talking to another soldier, so “he knew what he signed up for” has a totally different meaning than it does when it is said to a grieving civilian wife and civilian parents.

      Aside from all that, though, Twitler was playing golf with Lindseypoo when the flag-draped coffins arrived at Dover. He didn’t say or tweet one word about the soldiers for 2 fucking weeks. We are supposed to believe that there was any sincerity whatsoever, when he only made the phone calls, because he was embarrassed into it?

      And aside from all that, Kelly can’t admit that he was wrong? He completely mischaracterized what Frederica Wilson said. The video is out, and he looks like an idiot. If he can’t be man enough to come out and apologize, he doesn’t deserve to be heard from again. And Sarah? She’s a fucking tool, and the more she speaks, the dumber she sounds.

  6. Friend of the court

    Death before dishonor.