March 29, 2023

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Politics: John Kelly misrepresented a congresswoman’s 2015 speech while he was criticizing her over Gold Star family controversy

  • A video shows that White House chief of staff John Kelly was wrong about Rep. Frederica Wilson’s 2015 speech.
  • The video shows Wilson took credit for fast-tracking an FBI building’s naming process rather than securing its funding.
  • This is the latest episode in a feud this week involving Rep. Wilson, President Donald Trump, and John Kelly.

White House chief of staff John Kelly’s claim that Rep. Frederica Wilson had boasted about procuring funding for an FBI field office in 2015 was proven wrong by a video released by The Sun Sentinel on Friday, backing up Wilson’s claim that she had only taken credit for working across the aisle to name the building after two FBI agents who were killed in the line of duty.

Kelly called Wilson an “empty barrel” on Thursday and rebuked her for taking credit for securing funding for the future FBI building. Wilson, however, shot back and denied the claim, which was corroborated by the video of her speech.

The video shows that Wilson described how, after she was informed of the long process it would take to finalize the building’s name, she “went into attack mode.”

“Immediately I went into attack mode… They hotlined it to the Senate floor in just two days,” she said in the speech. “And guess what? The president signed the bill into law this past Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, with a bang, bang, bang!”

Wilson was elected to Congress in 2010, one year after the funding for the building was secured, according to CNN.

The White House stood by Kelly’s characterization of Wilson’s speech.

“Gen. Kelly said he was ‘stunned’ that Rep. Wilson made comments at a building dedication honoring slain FBI agents about her own actions in Congress, including lobbying former President Obama on legislation,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “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.”

The back-and-forth between Wilson and Kelly follows another feud between the Florida congresswoman and President Donald Trump himself, in which Wilson criticized Trump for making an insensitive call to the widow of a fallen US soldier.

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