Elizabeth Warren calls out John Kelly after email
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Friday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “can’t shut me up” after an email in which Kelly called her “an impolite arrogant woman” was published Thursday.
Kelly sent the email in February 2017 after Warren called him to protest the Trump administration’s disregard of the temporary restraining court order on the travel ban after her office could not get through to his office, Buzzfeed reported Thursday. The email was part of cache of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Homeland Security. CNN has not independently verified the veracity of the email.
“Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,” Kelly wrote in the email to his then-senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin Carroll. “What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.”
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment but have not yet received a response.
In a seven-tweet response to the article, the Massachusetts Democrat offered her side of the story, insisting that Kelly pretended as though her office had not tried to contact his office before she called.
“My office tried to get answers from @DHSgov about families who couldn’t get home,” Warren tweeted. “There was only 1 problem: the new @DHSgov Secretary John Kelly wouldn’t return my calls. When I finally got him on the phone, he bizarrely insisted I made the whole thing up & we’d never tried to reach him in the first place.”
When Warren asked Kelly for a direct line to reach him, “he tried to give me the main line listed on @DHSgov’s website (really),” she tweeted, adding that she then gave Kelly “something back for his troubles: a message on behalf of the American people that it was time to follow the court order and allow people stranded abroad to board planes into Logan Airport.”
Warren acknowledged that she was “tough” on Kelly on the phone, but stressed that “there’s nothing impolite about people’s right to speak out.”
“Was I tough on John Kelly in that phone call? You bet I was,” the Massachusetts senator tweeted, adding, “Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump can’t shut me up — and neither can John Kelly. (He can’t even get @realDonaldTrump off Twitter, and as far as I can tell, that was his main job description when he took on the role of @WhiteHouse Chief of Staff).”
“There are some men who can only hear “blah blah blah” whenever a woman’s talking,” she concluded. But there’s nothing impolite about people’s right to speak out and hold their government accountable. And sometimes, people are right to be angry.”
President Donald Trump has frequently attacked Warren at rallies and on Twitter, calling her “goofy,” “weak,” and “ineffective” as well as “Pocahontas,” an apparent reference to her alleged Native American roots.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell inadvertently gave Democrats a new rallying cry when he determined Warren had violated a Senate rule against impugning another senator, Jeff Sessions, during debate on Sessions’ nomination to be attorney general in early 2017. Warren had been criticizing Sessions in her remarks, including reading from a 1986 letter critical of Sessions written by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., and Warren was then instructed by the presiding officer to take her seat.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”