"I can think of no charitable reason that Kelly found this speech empty or unpleasantly stunning, or that he got so much wrong in his retelling.
At best, he was extremely careless with the truth when he embroidered his account with specifics that he didn’t recall accurately. At worst he flat-out lied in an effort to deflect criticism of his boss, thinking there wouldn’t be a video record to expose his treacherous deceit.
Either way it reflected poorly on him. An apology was in order and would have gone some distance in maintaining his moral standing — as a retired Marine general who has lost a son to war, Kelly came to the White House in late July with the presumption that he was a disciplined, ethical, serious person.
His failure in the days since to apologize to Wilson or correct the record has been surprising, disappointing and scary.
Surprising and disappointing because many of us hoped Kelly would be a stabilizing force in the West Wing, the Trump whisperer who moderated the rash, narcissistic and mendacious president. Instead, Kelly showed himself to be yet another enabler ready to throw away his reputation for momentary political advantage.
Scary because his refusal to apologize signals that he shares Trump’s stubbornness, vindictiveness and lack of humility, traits that can lead a nation headlong into nuclear conflict.
Kelly was supposed to be the man of integrity and reflection — the foot on the brake, not the pedal to the metal.
Oh well. Those of us looking for someone to save the country from Trump’s worst impulses are just going to have to keep looking."