WASHINGTON—Finding it difficult to refrain from basic human compassion and instead make everything about himself in the face of horrible tragedy, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly struggled Friday to maintain a believable Trump impression during phone calls with the teenage survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, administration sources confirmed. “This was a bad dude, a really bad dude, and, uh, we’re going to win, and it’s going to be unbelievable,” said the retired four-star Marine Corps general whose adherence to Trump’s unrefined speech patterns, 160-word vocabulary, and erratic vocal cadence was undercut by his inability to fully capture the commander in chief’s meandering, self-centered arrogance. “My heart truly breaks for you and all who have suffered—uh, no, I mean—what a huge thrill it must be for you to get to talk to me.” The Parkland survivors later indicated that Kelly’s refusal to voice any commitment for gun control measures had successfully convinced them they were indeed speaking to the president.
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