The Levant News – It appears that retired Marine Gen. John Kelly is being considered to play a key role in the Trump administration, possibly as secretary of state.
Kelly, former head of U.S. Southern Command, was scheduled to meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday, Politico reported.
Reince Priebus, Trump’s pick for White House chief of staff, mentioned Kelly as one of the candidates being considered as the next secretary of state, along with retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, former Army vice chief of staff, who reportedly turned down Trump’s offer to serve as secretary of defense.
“I’m not sure who he’s going to select, but I do know that he’s talking to the right people: [Rudy] Giuliani, Gen. Keane, Gen. Kelly; he’s talked to Mitt Romney, obviously,” Priebus told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on Sunday. “We’ll see, Chuck, where it goes, but it’s a good sign for all Americans.”
Neither Kelly nor a representative from Trump’s transition team could be reached for comment Sunday.
Republican strategist and CNN contributor Anna Navarro tweeted on Sunday that she was happy to read that Trump was expected to meet with Kelly.
“John’s serious, ethical, inclusive, knowledgeable, steady,” she tweeted. “Also, a gold-star father.”
In November 2010, one of Kelly’s two sons, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan while serving with the 5th Marine Regiment. Kelly was notified of his son’s death by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is now serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Kelly spent more than 40 years in the Marine Corps after enlisting as an infantry Marine in 1970 and then receiving his commission in 1976 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts. He played a central role in largely destroying al-Qaida in western Iraq and later became senior military adviser to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
As head of SOUTHCOM, Kelly reportedly opposed President Obama’s efforts to close the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also clashed with the Obama administration for opening all combat jobs to women. In January, he predicted that the military services would have to lower the physical standards for those jobs and that women who joined would get seriously injured.
In October, Kelly told Marine Corps Times that Marines did not feel appreciated by senior civilian leaders, who were instead preoccupied with using the military for “social experimentation.”
“They see as an example Marine aviation, as readiness — to say the least — is hurting; other aspects of readiness hurting; and their expectation would be to a large degree: ‘Why aren’t people harder to fix these problems as opposed to the social experimentation?’” he said in an Oct. 25 interview. “They love the commandant; they’re very proud of having a Marine as the chairman and they know he works hard for them. But they also know that they’re really rolling a huge boulder uphill, trying to maintain the readiness and all the rest of their responsibilities.”
Source: Alamogordo Daily News