- Female members of the Congressional Black Caucus are demanding an apology from White House chief of staff John Kelly. A video released last week shows Rep. Frederica Wilson did not brag about securing funding for an FBI field office during a dedication speech, contrary to Kelly’s characterization. The White House has said questioning Kelly is “inappropriate.”
Female members of the Congressional Black Caucus are demanding that White House chief of staff John Kelly issue an apology to Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida for claiming she took credit for securing funding for an FBI field office in Miramar, Florida.
In a statement released Sunday, 17 women in the CBC condemned Kelly, noting that the video released by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel showing Wilson did not claim to have single-handedly secured funding for the building.
“The women of the Congressional Black Caucus stand in strong support of our colleague, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Congresswoman Wilson is a woman of impeccable integrity and a dedicated public servant,” the statement read.
“She is a highly respected Member of Congress who has demonstrated extremely competent leadership on a number of important issues, and we are especially proud of her fearless and uncompromising leadership to fight for the release of nearly 300 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram.”
The statement also said the women of the CBC were “appalled” by Kelly’s remarks, specifically noting that he called her an “empty barrel,” a term reserved for loud individuals who lack substance.
“General Kelly’s comments are reprehensible,” the CBC statement added. “Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies. We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements.”
Wilson herself also demanded an apology from Kelly, because “he lied to the American public,” as she wrote on Twitter.
The CBC’s call for Kelly to publicly apologize comes after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders implied that Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, is beyond reproach because of his military career.
“If you want to go after General Kelly that’s up to you but I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate,” Sanders said during Friday’s press briefing.