Who Is?
S2 E18

Who is John Kelly? Narrated by Christine Nangle

General John F. Kelly is Trump’s chief of staff, a Guantanamo Bay superfan and, supposedly, the voice of reason in the White House — but how did he end up in Washington D.C.?

He was born in 1950 in Boston. In 1970, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, and was later discharged so he could attend the University of Massachusetts Boston. He later returned to the Marines where he would serve for 45 years. He also oversaw the infamous Guantanamo Bay, and implemented measures like force feeding and solitary confinement when inmates began to hunger strike.

Trump tapped Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security, due, in part, to his aggressive stance on immigration. In light of this, he started a media campaign to paint undocumented immigrants as criminals and ordered officials to report the most egregious crimes immigrants had committed in order to validate his extensive raids.

Six months into Trump’s term, Reince Priebus left, so he promoted Kelly to be his new Chief of Staff. Kelly then started to try and control the flow of information into the oval office — he even insisted that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump go through him before speaking to the president. However, his attempts to tone down the madness in the White House have been frequently walked over by Trump. This could be why he’s reportedly called the White House a “miserable place to work.”

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