NYT: Trump’s Ex-Chief Of Staff Delivered Horrifying Confirmation; The Former President Demanded The DOJ And IRS Investigate His Personal Enemies

This is horrifying.

636 points

The New York Times is now out with a disturbing report, in which former Trump Chief of Staff General John Kelly has finally officially confirmed that the now-former president wanted and often even demanded that the Internal Revenue Service and/or the US Department of Justice open audits or investigations into individuals that he perceived as his personal and/or political enemies.

Citing the former general and second Trump chief of staff, the New York Times reports:

While in office, President Donald J. Trump repeatedly told John F. Kelly, his second White House chief of staff, that he wanted a number of his perceived political enemies to be investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.”

John Kelly served as the Chief of Staff to the 45th President from July 2017 to the end of 2018, the second of many individuals to serve in the position throughout Donald Trump’s highly tumultuous presidential term. Reports indicated at the time that Kelly was essentially forced out of the position so close to the president by Donald’s children, who took issue with the retired general over the fact that he wouldn’t allow Trump’s kids “walk-in privileges” — basically meaning that they could walk into the Oval Office whenever they felt like it, despite what may have been going on or being discussed behind closed doors. This would’ve essentially given the Trump children one of the highest levels of security clearance in the nation.

The Trump children have since denied the reports and claims that they were involved in Kelly’s ousting from the position in their father’s Cabinet, yet multiple additional reporting has claimed that Ivanka, specifically, played a personal role in Kelly’s termination.

Back in July, a previous report dropped from the New York Times revealing that no less than two of Donald Trump’s known enemies were the target of extensive and “invasive” audits from the IRS, under seemingly suspicious circumstances.

The Times now reports:

Trump’s demands were part of a broader pattern of him trying to use the Justice Department and his authority as president against people who had been critical of him, including seeking to revoke the security clearances of former top intelligence officials.

Mr. Trump would eventually let the idea go, Mr. Kelly said, but during subsequent outbursts about his enemies he would again bring up his desires to have them investigated.”

In speaking to the Times regarding the situation, Kelly said, “The U.S. government, whether it’s the I.R.S. or the Justice Department, should never be weaponized or used to retaliate, and certainly not because someone criticizes you in the press or is your political opponent. The average federal employee or F.B.I. agent or I.R.S. agent goes to work and executes the laws and regulations and shouldn’t be put in this position.”

Trump was reportedly specific about his targets, with the publication that the now ex-president wanted the IRS and the Justice Department to “investigate the former CIA director John O. Brennan; Hillary Clinton; Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post.” Trump hated his coverage in the Post. He also wanted to go after “Peter Strzok, the lead F.B.I. agent on the Russia investigation; and Lisa Page, an F.B.I. official who exchanged text messages with Mr. Strzok that were critical of Mr. Trump.”

Donald Trump’s spokesperson has since spoken out, unsurprisingly denying the claims and then going so far as to call Kelly, a four-star Marine general, a “psycho.”

However, it’s certainly worth noting that one key individual who earned himself the label of a Trump enemy was, conveniently enough, indicted on charges of “tax fraud” — none other than Donald Trump’s own former personal attorney and self-described “fixer,” Michael Cohen.

Read the full New York Times report here.

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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