By JON LEVINE
October 20th 2017 While many praised White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly for his stern and emotional defense of President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, one passionate dissenting voice was MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
On his program Thursday evening, O’Donnell launched into an 18 minute diatribe against Kelly that got personal, with the host suggesting Kelly’s Boston Irish upbringing tinged his thoughts about Wilson with racism.
“I grew up a few years after John Kelly in an identical neighborhood in the other side of Boston and I went to high school in John Kelly’s neighborhood. I know the neighborhood John Kelly comes from, I know the culture,” said O’Donnell. “It was a neighborhood in which calling someone who looked like Frederica Wilson an empty barrel was the kindest thing that would have been said about her. Desegregation came very painfully to the Boston schools, long after John Kelly finished high school, and the pain of desegregating Boston schools was visited entirely on the students who looked like Frederica Wilson.”
There was more: O’Donnell also accused the marine general of “dehumanizing” Wilson by calling her an “empty barrel.”
“He called her an empty barrel. He dehumanized her. In fact, from start to finish, John Kelly’s comments in the briefing room today were essentially a lecture about his moral superiority over her and Donald Trump’s moral superiority over her,” he said. “If there is anything that John Kelly respects about her, he did not mention it today. Today she was nothing but an empty barrel to him.”
While Kelly has been known to drop the “empty barrel” line before on his critics, it seems the Congresswoman saw O’Donnell’s monologue, telling reporters Friday that she felt the term was “racist.”