Gen. Kelly Tells Media to Get ‘Better Sources’; ‘Astounding to Me How Much Is Misreported’

Thursday’s White House press briefing was conducted by White House Chief of Staff and Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly (Ret.), who thoroughly enjoyed having the liberal media shouting questions his direction and answering them all. 

Most importantly, Kelly responded to a question from the Fox Business Network’s Blake Burman about frustrations President Trump has by providing a brief, calm, sober takedown of the liberal media and their misreporting.

“Can you talk about frustrations, peel back the curtain for us since you’re in a first-row vantage point with the President. What are his frustrations right now,” asked Burman.

Without hesitation, Kelly hit back that “one of his frustrations is you” and he sarcastically added “[a]ll of you” before backpedaling to “[n]ot all of you, but many of you.”

Kelly cited Congress and the slow movement of agenda items as his other frustration, but it’s no secret that he abhors the liberal media far more.

He continued [emphasis mine]:

As I say when I started — when I first started talking, I’m a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning, I read the — oh, well, I won’t tell you what I read. I watch TV in the morning. It is astounding to me how much is misreported. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. 

Along with calling out the liberal media, Kelly wrapped up on that theme by saying that he had some “advice,” which was that they should “maybe develop some better sources.”

“But I would just offer to you the advice I’d say — you know, maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office or, well, just develop some better sources,” he concluded.

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Moments after that, Kelly called on NBC’s Kristen Welker when he stopped her at the start of her question to mock the reporters in the first row:

KELLY: Are the people in the front row like the most important people or is it —

REPORTERS: No. No. 

KELLY: No, seriously, how do you end up — 

JOHN ROBERTS: We’re the cannon fire. We’re the first in line when they start shooting.

KELLY: Okay.

Earlier in the briefing, CBS News White House correspondent Margaret Brennan was inquiring about Kelly “establishing processes here at the White House” when the Chief of Staff quipped: “Is this the iron hand that I’ve brought to the staff?”

Brennan followed by wondering if he views himself as ruling with “an iron hand,” but Kelly responded that he’s “just put some organization” to the White House “with a smile on my face.” 

Kelly then mocked the news media for capturing him during some of Trump’s controversial remarks with a frustrated look on his face: “Although you guys with the cameras always catch me when I’m thinking hard and it looks like I’m frustrated and mad.”

Here’s the relevant transcript from October 12’s White House press briefing:

White House press briefing
October 12, 2017
1:56 p.m. Eastern

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve focused a lot on process and establishing processes here at the White House. I’m wondering if you can explain —

GEN. JOHN KELLY (Ret.): Is this the iron hand that I’ve brought to the staff? 

BRENNAN: No, but did you? Is that how you see it? You don’t see that you have an iron hand?

KELLY: No, just put some organization to it —

BRENNAN: Well, can you explain —

KELLY: — with a smile on my face. Although you guys with the cameras always catch me when I’m thinking hard and it looks like I’m frustrated and mad. 

BRENNAN: Yeah. What is your frustrated face? 

(….)

2:04 p.m. Eastern

BLAKE BURMAN: Can you talk about frustrations, peel back the curtain for us since you’re in a first-row vantage point with the President. What are his frustrations right now? And secondly, a decision that’s going to be upcoming is the Fed chair position, possibly here in the next few weeks or upcoming months. Where does that stand? How active are they — how actively is the administration engaged in that at this moment right now? 

KELLY: One of his frustrations is you. All of you. Not all of you, but many of you. As I say when I started — when I first started talking, I’m a reasonable guy, but when I read in the morning, I read the — oh, well, I won’t tell you what I read. I watch TV in the morning. It is astounding to me how much is misreported. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are operating off of contacts, leaks, whatever you call them. But I would just offer to you the advice I’d say — you know, maybe develop some better sources. Some person that works way down inside an office or, well, just develop some better sources. The Congress has been frustrating to him. Course, our government is designed to be slow and it is. His sense, I think, as a man who is outside of the Washington arena, a business man, much more of a man of action. His great — I would say his great frustration is the process that he now finds himself because, in his view, the solutions are obvious. Whether it’s tax cuts, tax reform, healthcare, infrastructure programs, strengthening our military. To him, these all seem like obvious things that need to be done to protect the American people. Bring jobs back. These are all things that he sees as vital to protect the American people or to advance American economy, whatnot and the process is so slow and so hard sometimes to deal with. So I think those two things. 

(….)

2:07 p.m. Eastern

[REPORTERS SHOUTING]

KELLY [TO KRISTEN WELKER]: Go.

KRISTEN WELKER: Thank you. President Trump —

KELLY: Are the people in the front row like the most important people or is it —

REPORTERS: No. No. 

KELLY: No, seriously, how do you end up — 

JOHN ROBERTS: We’re the cannon fire. We’re the first in line when they start shooting.

KELLY: Okay.

WELKER: General Kelly, thank you so much and thanks for being here today.

This post originally appeared on NewsBusters

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