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Letter: Trump rarely listens to aides’ good advice

Trump rarely listens to aides’ good advice

Overlooked in all the heated rhetoric about President Trump’s call to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, the reaction by Rep. Frederica Wilson regarding the remarks he made and General John Kelly’s emotional reply addressing this situation, is the real reason why this controversy erupted in the first place.

Before he made any call, Trump reportedly sought Kelly’s advice. Kelly, speaking as the president’s chief of staff and as an experienced military officer, but most of all as a father who grieved the loss of a son in the line of duty, advised Trump not to call – that there was nothing he or anyone could say at such a trying time that would ease the pain felt.

Trump, steeped in the egotistical self-delusion that he can never go wrong, chose to ignore Kelly’s advice, and the result was his ham-fisted “condolence” call. Typically, he refused to recognize his role in how this played out and reacted by lambasting the person who witnessed the call and the distress it caused; by lying about the behavior of previous presidents faced with similar situations; and by lying about his own behavior regarding other service fatalities.

Yes, “let’s put politics aside and be Americans first.” If Trump has any interest in doing so, perhaps he will heed Kelly’s advice in the future and avoid unnecessary controversies of his own making like this.

Charles Belair

North Tonawanda

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