CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter serves up her latest bit of stenography on behalf of the Trump White House in an Oct. 20 article:
The White House said Friday that the media’s focus on President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier who died in Niger should have ended yesterday after White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly spoke on the issue, but instead, it’s the main topic of news coverage a day later.
A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders why Kelly felt the need to address Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) publicly and call her “an empty barrel” instead of calling her privately like he’s done with other members of Congress who were critical of the president and why Trump felt the need to tweet about Wilson again Friday.
“I think that it's real simple: You guys are the ones talking a lot about that story, and he felt it was important to address you and all of America directly. This story has been given an enormous amount of coverage over the last 48 hours, and he thought it was important that people got a full and accurate picture of what took place,” Sanders said.
It seems Arter took Sanders' complaint as marching orders, because CNS has indeed stopped talking about what Kelly said. That's too bad, because Kelly got some key facts wrong in attacking Wilson.
In his remarks, Kelly said this about Wilson at a 2015 dedication of an FBI building in Florida:
And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned. But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, okay, fine."
A video unearthed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of the April 10, 2015, event preserved Wilson’s speech. While it does portray Wilson speaking animatedly and indulging in some braggadocio -- she is known as a colorful, outspoken politician with a soft spot for fashionable hats -- Kelly mischaracterized her remarks in significant ways.
Kelly said that Wilson "stood up there ... and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down."
However, in her speech, Wilson didn’t mention funding for the building, much less claim credit for it or tell the audience how she leveraged influence with Obama to secure it.
Wilson did describe how she helped secure legislation to name the building for two slain agents, but Kelly’s description leaves out that the FBI pressed her to make that effort and that she shared credit with several other lawmakers, including the Republican House speaker and Florida’s Republican senator. Wilson also spoke at some length about the bravery of the slain agents and the FBI in general.
We rate Kelly’s statement False.
Since CNS has acceded to the Trump White House's demand to not report this story anymore, its readers are being deprived of the truth. Sad!