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Obama’s DHS chief: Trump’s generals should stay to ‘right the ship’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(From L to R) White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the US president's national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, and US Defense Secretary James Mattis

The cadre of US generals and retired generals working under President Donald Trump should not resign as a wave of resignations hits the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack during a demo against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, says the former head of the Homeland Security (DHS).

Jeh Johnson, who ran the department under former President Barack Obama, made the comments on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and US Defense Secretary James Mattis are retired from the military while the president's national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, remains on active duty.

Since Trump took power, news of dismissals and resignations from the White House has become quite frequent.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson talks to a group of Congressional interns before testifying to the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

“Frankly, if John Kelly, or my friend Jim Mattis, came to me and said I'm thinking about resigning from this White House, I'd say absolutely not. You have to stay,” Johnson said. “As John reportedly said, it's country first. And we need people like John Kelly, Jim Mattis, H.R. McMaster to right the ship.”

Although military officials are not expected to hold civilian positions in the White House, Johnson stated that he is glad the generals have not quit yet.

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The former DHS chief further commented on efforts to remove Confederate monuments from US cities, asserting that they would become “rallying points” for white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and supporters of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

A monument dedicated to Confederate Soldiers from Leon County with the Civil War battles that they participated in listed on the four sides of the base is seen in front of Florida's Historic Capitol in the midst of a national controversy over whether Confederate symbols should be removed from public display on August 20, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

“We fought a world war against Nazism. The KKK rained terror on African-Americans for generations,” he said. “And so a number of Americans, rightly, Republican and Democrat, are very concerned and very alarmed. And I salute those in cities and states who are taking down a lot of these monuments for reasons of public safety and security.”

The president has been under fire due to his failure to immediately condemn the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, in which a driver plowed into demonstrators protesting against white supremacists, killing a young woman and injuring nearly 20 others.

Instead, he has blamed both sides for the clashes that took place on August 13.

Trump has also faced a raft of resignations from his advisory councils and talks about resignation of other White House officials.


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