Almost 6 months after its end, the presidency of Donald Trump continues to generate analysis and studies, and a cataract of soon-to-appear books promise explosive information about the president.
It is precisely in the advancement of one of these books that an episode is revealed that in its moment shocked the White House: On a trip to Europe, the president told his then Chief of Staff, John Kelly, that “Hitler had done a lot of good things.”
The revelation, published in the British newspaper The Guardian, comes from Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost (Honestly, We Won This Election: The Intimate Story of How Trump Lost), by The Wall Street Journalist Michael Bender, a book about which excerpts have been published in various media around the world.
An image of Donald Trump with his then Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Photo: REUTER
According to Bender, the exchange, which took place as part of a 2018 trip to commemorate 100 years of World War I, left Kelly “shocked”, who tried to refute Trump’s argument and provide him with a small history class on the dynamics of WWII.
“(Kelly) reminded the president who was part of the two sides that fought in the war, and he connected the dots to mark a path for him from the First War to the Second and Hitler’s atrocities,” Bender wrote.
For her part, Liz Harrington, a Trump spokeswoman, released a statement denying what the journalist reported: “This is totally false. President Trump never said this. It’s fake news made up, probably by a general who was incompetent and was fired. “
Bender, however, reaffirmed what was published. He added that he was able to rebuild the exchange based on numerous sources at off the record, who assured that, although Kelly told him he was wrong, Trump continued to maintain the same, praising in turn the economic recovery of Germany in the 1930s.
John Kelly, the former Trump Chief of Staff who is extremely critical of the former president. Photo: REUTER
“Kelly continued to argue with Trump, and claimed that the Germans would have been better off if they had remained poor, rather than suffer the Nazi genocide,” the book reads. The passage concludes when the official tells Trump that, even if his observation about the German economy were true, “nothing can be said in favor of HitlerYou just can’t. ”
Kelly, a retired Army general who suffered the death of a son in combat in Afghanistan in 2010, left his post in 2019. Since then, numerous reports of criticism of the former US president have emerged. In a chat with friends, Kelly reportedly said that Trump was “the most flawed person I have ever met”.
The magnate’s apparent ignorance of historical issues is not limited to what happened in Europe between 1939 and 1945. Bender quotes numerous officials who worked with then-President Trump, who argued that his knowledge of historical moments left much to be desired.
“His knowledge of slavery, Jim Crow racial laws, and the suffering experienced by the black population in the aftermath of the Civil War ranged from a vague notion and absolute ignorance“writes Bender.
“His disregard for black history was similar to his disinterest in the history of any other race, religion or creed,” he completed.