President Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, “dissuaded” the populist president from following through on a plan to bring the roughly 25,000 American troops stationed in South Korea home to the United States, a new report alleges.
According to two sources, Kelly was the White House official who successfully got Trump to back down on his plan to bring American troops home from South Korea.
NBC News reports:
In one heated exchange between the two men before February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, Kelly strongly — and successfully — dissuaded Trump from ordering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula, according to two officials. [Emphasis added]
For Kelly, the exchange underscored the reasoning behind one of his common refrains, which multiple officials described as some version of “I’m the one saving the country.”
Last month, Trump blasted the fact that the U.S. had American men and women stationed at the South and North Korean border, but did not protect its own borders with service members.
Washington spent trillions building up foreign countries while allowing OUR OWN infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair. No more! It's time to REBUILD, and we will do it with American WORKERS, American GRIT, and American PRIDE! pic.twitter.com/Q9rPZi2D2s
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
“In recent years, Americans have watched as Washington spent trillions and trillions of dollars building up foreign countries while allowing our own country’s infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair,” Trump said.
“Look at Korea. We have a border in Korea. We have a wall of soldiers. We don’t get paid very much for this, do we? We have — you look at that — nobody comes through. But our own border — we don’t take care of it,” Trump continued. “Look, North and South Korea, 32,000 soldiers, the finest equipment, barbed wire all over the place. We protect that whole thing. Nobody comes through. But our country — we don’t do it.”